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Archive for June 21st, 2011

by Allan Fish

(West Germany 1973 102m) not on DVD

Aka. Wildwechsel; Wild Game

Why not?

p  Gerhard Freund  d/w  Rainer Werner Fassbinder  play  Franz Kroetz  ph  Dietrich Lohmann  ed  Thea Eymesz  m  Peer Raben  art  Kurt Raab

Eva Mattes (Hanni Schneider), Harry Baer (Franz Bermeier), Jörg von Liebenfels (Erwin Schneider), Ruth Drexel (Hilda Schneider), Kurt Raab (factory boss), Hanna Schygulla (doctor), Klaus Löwitsch (policeman), El Hedi Ben Salem (Franz’s friend), Irm Herrmann (police official),

It’s the film that has become a holy grail for Fassbinderites, and even now seems as unlikely to receive a DVD release as any film currently languishing in limbo.  It was very controversial, of course, that goes without saying.  The English title played that up, but when one reads comments on certain film websites, one would be forgiven for thinking we were watching a piece of child pornography.  Let me get one thing clear, Jail Bait was never remotely that and those who call it such are living on planet Zog.  Calls for it to be banned are ludicrous.  Needless to say, as an advocate of free speech, I am against the banning of any film, but Jail Bait shouldn’t even come close.  It’s ironic then that now, if that were the only objection, Jail Bait would be restored along with other masterworks by the Fassbinder Foundation.  Sadly, this film is legally unavailable for other reasons.  It hadn’t even been transmitted when Kroetz put out a court injunction against the film, then Fassbinder effectively disowned it himself and the film went into imposed exile.  (more…)

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