What amuses Fassbinder for some of the time during the telling of Beware of a Holy Whore, is the external life of the actor. Obviously the most that we see of them is in action, interesting, superhuman always, in drama or in villainy. The reality, he observes, of actors is that they are often vain, seedy and shallow – human all too human.

Thus, in the languid opening shots of Beware of a Holy Whore, some of the actors are drinking, some are bitching, and some are smooching and flirting. Herb Andress, ‘the coach’, is seducing Marquard Bohm’s character Ricky, and it is really very funny, the way that viewers can see through it in a second, and yet how fascinated the young actor is. Fassbinder, propping up the bar, makes no secret of how sick they all make him.

Coach is strange character; from Rome, speaks German, ‘subhuman’ in the eyes of the rest of the cast; he tells Hannah Schygulla that they all treat him like a black, although he doesn’t seem to feel it himself. The glass breaking in Beware of a Holy Whore comes to a head when Andress slumps suicidally to the floor at the end of the production team’s horrid evening of anger and frustrated sex; unable to take being rejected by Hannah Schygulla. It’s not quite even a rejection; it’s just how she passes the time. The acting coach’s indolence knows no bounds however, and to be the laziest and most worthless of this bunch is quite an achievement.