Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the genius of the New German Cinema, made forty-three remarkable film and television works between 1966 and his death in 1982 at age thirty-seven. The full depth and scope of this astonishing career--unparalleled in postwar world cinema—was on display for the first time in the United States beginning January 23, 1997, when The Museum of Modern Art presented Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a complete retrospective of the director's work.

Using a potent mix of impassioned melodrama and biting satire, working independently with a loyal, likeminded cast and crew, and wedding intense personal and political issues, Fassbinder produced an entirely original oeuvre that remains as imaginative and incisive today as when he was alive. These films include acknowledged treasures such as The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978), Lola (1981), Fox and His Friends (1974), Veronika Voss (1981), Effi Briest (1972/74), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Katzelmacher (1969), In a Year of 13 Moons (1978), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1973), and Lili Marleen (1980).

The series concluded on March 20. Following the complete retrospective at MoMA, films from the series travel to thirteen cities in North America through March 1998, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington, Cleveland, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Berkeley, Houston, Chicago, Columbus, and Boston.

Publication: Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
Edited by Laurence Kardish, in collaboration with Juliane Lorenz.

The series was a collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art and the Fassbinder Foundation, and was presented with the assistance of Goethe-Institut New York/German Cultural Center. The program was presented with the support of New Yorker Films, New York; Leisure Time Features, New York; and InterNationes, Bonn. It was made possible by a grant from The Simar Group, with additional funding from Christoph Henkel. Transportation was provided by Lufthansa, Berlin.

Photo: Hanna Schygulla in The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978).
Film Stills Archives, The Museum of Modern Art.