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Student Pick!


(Chinesisches Roulette). The saturated greens and reds of a Bavarian forest leading to a castle set the tone for this fairy tale of the wealthy at play—replete with terrible children, neglectful parents, sinister servants, and vampire kisses. A Munich industrialist (Alexander Allerson) and his wife (Margit Carstensen) surprise each other at their country chateau: he has come with his French mistress (Anna Karina), she with her lover (Ulli Lommel). Their canny, disabled adolescent daughter further surprises all; in true Sirkian fashion, it is she who sets in motion a cruel game investigating her parents’ desperate loves. Brigitte Mira, who put the lump in lumpen in Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, turns a decidedly different profile as the vain housekeeper who would rule upstairs and down. Wickedly humorous and archly instructive, and nodding as much to Chabrol and Bergman as to Sirk (through lucite, darkly), here is a film of “camp lyricism of such density it becomes a lethal weapon” (Vincent Canby).

—Judy Bloch

• Written by Fassbinder. Photographed by Michael Ballhaus. With Margit Carstensen, Ulli Lommel, Anna Karina, Alexander Allerson. (86 mins, In German with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Janus Films/Criterion Collection)
Student Pick! (Chinesisches Roulette). The saturated greens and reds of a Bavarian forest leading to a castle set the tone for this fairy tale of the wealthy at play—replete with terrible children, neglectful parents, sinister servants, and vampire kisses. A Munich industrialis...
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2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94720

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