Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

-On the title: at first, I thought it was maybe an English translation of the script, but it was more proper English/German than the line originally spoken, so...

-Beautiful, mythical, almost anecdotal (not surprising, considering its origin) look on race, age, and the hypocrisy of modern society (well, then-modern German society). Of course, many of the aggressors--gossiping neighbors, a particularly boorish son-in-law played by Fassbinder, who is no great shaking actor, but my, does he love his skinny jeans--come off as cartoons, representing different types of bigots more than actual people.

-I'd almost say El Hedi ben Salem was flat. Almost.

-The gaze of a partial nihilist, a partial optimist, a partial impartial. Bits of haven, people who don't give two rats' asses about the couple's age or race differences, the landlord's son, the grocer's wife, the bartender, they all are treated as part of the scenery, nearly drowned out by the histrionics of their less accepting counterparts, but such a relief in the first act.

-Oh, I'm afraid I can never gather much critical thought towards Fassbinder.