1946 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, born on the 31st of May in Bad Wörishofen, West Germany. He was a
motion-picture and theatre director, writer, and actor who was an important force in postwar West German cinema. His socially and politically conscious films often explore themes of oppression and despair.
1962 – Left school at age 16 and became involved with Munich’s Action-Theatre, an avant-garde repertory group for which he wrote, acted, and directed.
1968 – When the company was closed by police in May, he founded the “anti-teater” troupe that produced original works and unusual stage versions of literary classics.
1969 – Made his first full-length motion picture under the pseudonym of Franz Walsch, an alias he used. A prolific artist, he went on to complete more than 40 films and many theatre pieces during his brief career.
– His films, which are highly critical of middle-class values and manners, include Katzelmacher (the word is Bavarian slang for “foreign worker”), about a working-class Greek who shocks the German bourgeoisie.
1972 – Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant), an account of power struggles in human relationships.
1973 – Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul), a tale of doomed romance between a German cleaning woman and a much younger Moroccan mechanic.
1979 – In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden (In a Year of 13 Moons), a political allegory concerning a transsexual who regrets having undergone a sex-change operation.
– His great trilogy—Die Ehe der Maria Braun (The Marriage of Maria Braun), an ironic portrait of a marriage that reflects German history from World War II to the “economic miracle” of the 50’s.
1980 – He also adapted Alfred Döblin’s novel Berlin Alexanderplatz for a 14-part television series and later released all of the episodes as a feature film that ran nearly 16 hours.
1981 – Lola, his version of the Blue Angel legend.
1982 – Der Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (Veronika Voss), based on the life of the German actress Sybille Schmitz—was well received.
– Died on the 10th of June in Munich.