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Germany 1970
Directed by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
91 minutes
Rated R

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Gods Of The Plague

Extending the subject matter and concerns of Love Is Colder Than Death, the second of Fassbinder’s “gangster trilogy” is formally a much more polished film. Although not a sequel as such, narrative elements, characters, themes, and actors (notably Hanna Schygulla and Uli Lommel) reappear in what once again seems largely indebted to French New Wave and existentialist philosophy, as well as the fatalistic spirit of Jean-Pierre Melville’s films, with their doomed protagonists, once again infused with Fassbinder’s sexual preoccupations.

Despite its more approachable form, like its predecessor, Gods Of The Plague only makes sense because of its deconstructive relationship to its Hollywood genre models and in the context of the late 60s counter-culture politics and is thus a film for a very specific audience.

DVD Extras: Anyone who sees one of Fassbinder’s “gangster" films needs to see the others so this 3 disc Madman release with all three will be sufficiently desirable just for this but also included is an informative essay on the trilogy by Rolando Caputo, Associate Lecturer in Cinema Studies, LaTrobe University. Each film comes with extra material, this one with an interview with Harry Baer, who plays the Fassbinder alter ego Franz Walsch. Also included is the original theatrical trailer.

Available from: Madman




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