Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
Restoration of Fassbinder's masterpiece
“Fassbinder’s greatest and most beautiful, terrifying and stunning, wild and yet most disciplined work.” The German newspaper ZEIT only had such words of rapturous praise when “Berlin Alexanderplatz” was first televised by the ARD in 1980. However, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s novel of the same name had divided Germany’s movie critics into two camps – those who loved it, and those who severely criticized it because of the poor quality of the televised images. The television technology of the time was simply unable to portray the artistic nuances of Fassbinder’s light dramaturgy.
The Federal Cultural Foundation and the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation have jointly funded the digital restoration of Fassbinder's screen adaptation of Döblin's novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz". Not only is this 15 1/2-hour cinematic masterpiece a major work in the film director's oeuvre, but also an outstanding document of German filmmaking and television history.
The world premiere of the re-mastered version was presented at the Berlinale 2007 during a gala event attended by numerous illustrious actors and stars. Later at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, general audiences had the opportunity to view the entire film - the longest movie ever presented at a Berlinale festival. A DVD edition of the film is now available for purchase.
On 17 March 2007, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art presented "Fassbinder: Berlin Alexanderplatz - An Exhibition". Each episode and the epilogue of "Berlin Alexanderplatz" were projected on video screens in 14 different rooms. Viewers could also watch all the episodes chronologically and in full length on a separate screen.