Hit Me With Your Best Shot!: “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”



Sometimes one of the trickier parts of this series is that a film’s visual power can’t always be conveyed by a still image. Camera movement or shot duration can be as revealing as the composition of the frame, and despite evidence to the contrary, the internet can only contain so many gifs. Hopefully you get the idea if you’re playing along at home *wink, wink*.

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is almost constantly in motion, whether it’s the camera or the actors floating about the space. Rainer Werner Fassbinder stages the film within an inch of its life, every shift in performer posture and glacial pan of the camera manufactured to maximum beauty. The marvel is that the film preserves an irresistible, austere gorgeousness despite its mannered approach. You reach out to touch it as it keeps you at arms length.

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