Anthony Quinn at The Guardian:
A dream prospect. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the short-lived, self-destructive wunderkind who made movies about love as masochism, pain as an inevitable condition and history as a dire weight upon his native Germany, has long been in need of an equally forthright celebration. And who better to provide it than one-time NME star, cultural contrarian and film nut Ian Penman, in his first original book since his great comeback suite of music essays, It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track, in 2019? Well, hold your horses.
Fassbinder – RWF – was an artist whose work once had a “huge and axis-shifting effect” on Penman as a young cinephile. Now, in his early 60s, the fan wonders exactly why he was so enthralled by the film-maker. Straight off, he made the mistake, he says, of trying to rewatch the oeuvre in lockdown: Fassbinder films are about the very last thing you need during an enforced isolation. Berlin Alexanderplatz, his “iconic” TV series, was “especially hard going”. (Funnily enough, I tried the same thing, same time, and had to retire hurt after two episodes.)