PRODUCTION JOURNAL: Monday Morning Mixer - 9.9.13

Captain's Log.
Star Date: 9.9.13

September 9, 1980 - The Third Generation opens
"Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s terrorist comedy The Third Generation exploded when it opened in New York City in September 1980. In the New York Times, Vincent Canby raved, “There no longer can be any doubt about it: Rainer Werner Fassbinder is the most dazzling, talented, provocative, original, puzzling, prolific and exhilarating film maker of his generation. Anywhere.” Following on the heels of his international success The Marriage of Maria Braun, The Third Generation mock-heroically takes on the problem of domestic terrorism in Germany. Fassbinder explained the title’s relation to contemporary Germany politics in the following way: “The first generation was that of '68. Idealists, who wanted to change the world and imagined they could do that with words and demonstrations. The second, the Baader-Meinhof Group, went from legality to armed struggle and total illegality. The third's the generation of today, which simply acts without thinking, which has neither a policy nor an ideology and which, certainly without realizing it, lets itself by manipulated by others, like a bunch of puppets." Indeed in the film, a right-wing security company finances leftist terrorist cells in order to get the government to tighten its authority––as well as buy their security systems. Fassbinder labeled it “a comedy, because the terrorists behave like politicians. They actually work for the system in order to confirm the existing order and make it final." The German left, however, didn’t find anything funny about his at all. In Hamburg, the crowd stormed the theater and attacked the projectionist, and elsewhere radicals threw acid on the screen." ~~ Focus Features

Fassbinder's film, The Third Generation, is more proof that life continually evolves in cycles.  How relevant and poignant could this movie be for us today dealing with our own "terrorism problem" and the sociopolitical costs (in liberty, sanity and money) it is extracting from us.  And with your interest piqued to watch The Third Generation, here are a few other things to read, watch or do that have nothing to do with Fassbinder's film:


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