Arguably and movie critics love to argue the three greatest films of the 1980s were made-for-TV movies: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalog, Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective and this 15-1/2hr. Fassbinder epic. Now, at last, they're all on DVD, looking great. In adapting Alfred Doblin's 1929 novel, the German wunderbrat created a fresco of Weimar Berliners ground down by their base appetites and that form of bad luck known as Fate. But the movie is no downer. Fassbinder was every bit as much entertainer as artist, and this, his masterpiece, is a tonic experience. Save it for a long winter's night, and savor its meticulous vision of malefic glamour.
Next Ingmar Bergman