I don’t know if I’ve shared this anecdote before, but my favorite memory from taking film production courses in my senior year of college is of the day our class learned how to use lighting equipment. Our professor was showing us how to use C-stands and the fabric or screen-like items that can be attached to the stands in order to alter light, shadows and shades of color coming from the light source being used. While trying out a silk that would change the tint of the classroom’s light, our professor mused aloud: “Red – like Fassbinder liked to do.” A pause. “Does anyone here know Fassbinder?” From the back of the room (where I liked to stay, ever cautious) I shouted, “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul!“ None of my fellow students responded; there may have been a general murmur of recognition, but no other individual holler of fandom. The fun part of the story: one guy in the class, stricken with great bewilderment, asked in a mystified voice: “Fassbender? … Michael Fassbender has his own kind of lighting?” Truly a golden – or, more appropriately, scarlet – moment.
Lola (1981) – dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Starring: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mario Adorf, Matthias Fuchs, Helga Feddersen, Karin Baal, Hark Bohm, Rosel Zech, Sonja Neudorfer, Günther Kaufmann
Cinematography: Xaver Schwarzenberger