The brute beauty of “Fox and His Friends” (Faustrecht der Freiheit), Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s quietly savage 1975 x-ray of the exploitation of a simple man (Fassbinder) by wealthier, snobby friends after a windfall startles with its dense, concrete tapestry of trashy fairgrounds and garishly tasteless apartments and bolthole gay bars and swimming pools and horrifying exploitation.
(This original West German trailer contains nudity.)
Love is a transaction. And if capitalism doesn’t kill you, your lovers will. From the same restoration of the recently-issued Criterion Blu-ray, 1970s German life (and Fassbinder’s equal-opportunity sadism) hammers to dank existence again. 123m. (Ray Pride)
The image above is Harry Baer quoting Fassbinder in an interview on the Criterion Blu-ray of Fox. The restored “Fox And His Friends” plays September 30 and October 4 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.