Reviews

Berlin Alexanderplatz

5

Nothing on this weekend? You’re in luck. German New Wave bad-boy Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s staggering 15-and-a-half-hour masterpiece hits Region 2 for the first time, fully restored and spilling out over six discs. This gigantic work follows childlike ex-con Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht) on a spiral of desire and self-destruction as he attempts to “become an honest soul” in Weimar-era Germany. As Fassbinder’s mesmerising allegory unfolds, Biberkopf becomes a symbol for the rise of the Nazi nightmare, meeting psychotic pimp Reinhold (Gottfried John) and prostitute lover Mieze (Barbara Sukowa) en route to a controversial two-hour coda in which his world collapses into a weaving psychosexual dreamscape set to Kraftwerk and Wagner. The beefy Making Of A Mega-Movie doc and two restoration featurettes provide welcome brain-breaks, but purists may still want to wait for Criterion’s seven-discer.

 

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 24th 2007

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