Berlin Alexanderplatz

West Germany, 1980 (Rainer Werner Fassbinder; 15h 31m)

In his sprawling adaptation of the 1929 novel by Alfred Döblin, Fassbinder shows us the story of Franz Biberkopf, released from prison and vowing to go straight. However, our man soon finds himself entangled in the netherworld of late-1920s Berlin.

Berlin Alexanderplatz is intriguingly analysed in Tom Tykwer‘s 2007 tribute to the film and a declaration of love to experimental cinema”, published in English by Criterion. Read the whole thing, but here are some snippets…

…never really a TV movie. It is a narrative experimental film that, juggling various theatrical principles, seeks a hideaway between the traditional and the avant-garde.

T. Tywker

[Describing the novel] So the crucial part of Berlin Alexanderplatz isn’t the story… the essential part is simply the way in which this incredibly banal and unbelievable plot is narrated. And the attitude toward the characters, whom the author exposes in all their dreariness to the reader, while on the other hand he teaches the reader to see these characters, reduced to mediocrity, with the greatest tenderness, and to love them in the end.

R. W. Fassbinder, 1980

The film is not only long but, above all… is committed to a narrative method that on the one hand repulses the viewer, while on the other aims to swallow him up, drawing him into the decelerated, asthmatic environment of its story.

T. Tywker

And so, ‘Die Strafe beginnt’!

The sessions

All episodes are 58 or 59min, unless otherwise stated. Click on each session to see the episodes.

Friday Eve. 19:15 – 22:30

19:15

Zoom

19:30

E01: The Punishment Begins (82m)

21:00

E02: How is One to Live if One Doesn’t Want to Die?

22:00

Zoom

Saturday AM 09:45 – 13:00

09:45

Zoom

10:00

E03: A Hammer Blow to the Head Can Injure the Soul

11:00

E04: A Handful of People in the Depths of Silence

12:00

E05: A Reaper with the Power of Our Lord

Saturday PM1 13:45 – 16:00

13:45

Zoom

14:00

E06: Love Has Its Price

15:00

E07: Remember – An Oath can be Amputated

Saturday PM2 16:30 – 18:30

16:30

E08: The Sun Warms the Skin, but Burns it Sometimes Too

17:30

E09: About the Eternities Between the Many and the Few

Saturday Eve. 19:15 – 23:00

19:15

Zoom

19:30

E10: Loneliness Tears Cracks of Madness Even in Walls

20:30

E11: Knowledge is Power and the Early Bird Catches the Worm

21:30

E12: The Serpent in the Soul of the Serpent

22:30

Zoom

Sunday AM 09:45 – 13:15

09:45

Zoom

10:00

E13: The Outside and the Inside and the Secret of Fear of the Secret

11:00

E14: My Dream of the Dream of Franz Biberkopf by Alfred Döblin, An Epilogue (112m)

13:00

Zoom

Date: February 5th, 2021
Time: 7:15pm
Runs until: February 7th, 2021
Finishes at: 1:30pm

Source(s):
  • Criterion
  • Or see invite for download details