He was both his own greatest masterpiece and his own portrait of Dorian Gray. Advertisement But then again, there are the movies, sometimes at the rate of four or five a year – The Merchant of Four Seasons, The Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant, Fox and His Friends, Fear Eats the Soul etc – between 1970 and 1977, when he slowed down a little. Such was the fecundity of his output that great swaths of his work are only belatedly becoming available. His weirdly prescient sci-fi TV series World on A Wire surfaced in 2010 on DVD. His working-class soap opera Eight Hours Are Not a Day is due for re-release imminently, and a restoration of his gargantuan, 15-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz is under way. In times like ours, we could use another brilliant provocateur in the Fassbinder mould.
And yet he was as inimitable and unrepeatable as the country, the history and the culture that created him. Turns out there’s only one Fassbinder.