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Title: Media interplay in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's work for theatre, cinema and television
Author: Militz, Klaus Ulrich
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The work of the West German artist Rainer Werner Fassbinder is as versatile as it is extensive. During the 16 years of his artistic career Fassbinder produced more than forty cinema and television films and also staged 29 plays about half of which he had written himself. In doing so he not only drew an aesthetic traditions as diverse as the German folk play, the American gangster film, Hollywood melodrama, the Theatre of Cruelty, and the French Nouvelle Vague, but also worked in three media simultaneously: theatre, cinema, and television. It has repeatedly been pointed out that this versatility appears to forestall a conceptualisation of Fassbinder's work from the vantage point of its production. The present work aims at exactly such a conceptualisation by exploring the interplay between the director's work for the different media. Right from the beginning of his artistic career Fassbinder based his aesthetic approach on the transposition of aesthetic devices from one medium to the other. Whilst his theatre plays are characterised by a montage of short scenes reminiscent of film editing, his films are marked by a stark theatricality which concerns not only the acting and the entire mise-en-scene, but also the specific ways in which camera work and editing are implemented. In the course of his artistic development Fassbinder later also included the medium of television into this aesthetic exchange, first by turning towards a more balanced aesthetics in his cinema films, conveying a more 'positive' outlook on life as television would provide it, later by carrying many of the devices he had developed in the cinema into his work for television. Thus in each medium Fassbinder breaks with conventional forms of expression and creates new possibilities through media interplay. It is on this basis that Fassbinder achieved the astonishing versatility of his artistic output which is surprising in so far as all of Fassbinder's films are concerned with the same basic issue; the exploitation of feelings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available