The unhappy, bitchy, and barely-glamorous actress Margret is portrayed by Marcella Michelangeli. She blends into the set very much like all the other vapid and pretty girls of her era; found on the arm of most of the men at some point. To give you an idea of how vacant she is, the character announces at one point that she feels she would like to play the role naked, to give it extra depth.

For me this expresses one of the greatest binds a film actor must face, the fact they must often believe they are creating art while being treated like cattle, and putty in the hands of others. I once saw Will Smith give an interview on the character and personality of the character Mike Lowrie, that he plays in Bad Boys I and II; and he talked as if he were describing Hamlet. The irony is completed here because all that Marcella Michelangeli’s character has to do in the film being shot in Beware of a Holy Whore – is to be murdered.

Jeff the director, doesn’t feel she is even up to looking frightened, and of course he demolishes her; it seems cruel and maybe it is, but Fassbinder and many other directors work this way. ‘You are acting like a bumpkin on a village stage!’ he asks before he hands the part to Katrin Scaake.

Cruelty for the sake of cruelty is something strongly connected to art for Fassbinder, as it is the most common aspect he uncovers in social and romantic relations; one only needs to see the gratuitous fun the cast has in teasing a Spanish waiter, calling him stupid in German, a language he doesn’t understand, as if this is a major achievement.

Only at the end of the day, and the cuba libres are going down faster than ever, do you start to feel sorry for these people. All they really want to do is work and so you begin to hope and wonder what might happen when they do; which is a great feeling to have approaching the second half of the film.

The cuba libre, this may be a good time to mention, is also a star of this film. Here in particular they look so unappetising — flat, sticky, dark, alcoholic — the fly paper on which these wasters are stuck.