Irma is the name of the Fassbinder character’s wife. Uh, I know Ingrid Caven was Fassbinder’s wife, and she plays somebody else’s wife in this; but Irm was the name of Fassbinder’s first (nearly) wife; and Irm was his first teenage move into theatre. The name is very close to Irm; I will leave it at that. I imagine that Fassbinder would have somehow imagined Irm Hermnan in this role; there are reasons why not.

 

Jeff as a horrible homosexual is murder on his drunk Wife. But he is just as lousy with the men. Of course the wife lives to drink because her husband is not interested in her; and the ghostly white makeup adds to her corpse like demeanour; she really is the lowest on the set, even if it is Ulli Lommel or Herb Andress think it is them.

In the ‘kiss me Jeff I haven’t seen you for two weeks’ scene, we know an explosion is coming and it’s fun to watch and wait; a sentiment coincidentally shared by the cast and crew playing the cast and crew; Christ this metafilm is complicated to explain. Sounds complicated but is very easy, really; and has probably been going on for centuries (Tristram Shandy; Hamlet etc) before literary academics starting throwing Greek at us in quick succession.

His reply is ‘I told you to let go or you’ll regret it.’ Speaking of Hamlet, Magdalena Montezuma as Irm really is the ghost at the feast (of Cube libres) in Beware of a Holy Whore. As the lowest member of the low she has nothing to lose by baring her all; reminding her husband the swine, how she whored for him; and expressing the miserable depths of her rejection; asking again and again to be beaten up, while nobody does anything at all; not even her only friend, the Werner Schroter character. Still, it’s comedy.

Montezuma also appears in another lovely shot, depressingly speed-boating away from the coast to the strains of opera (another technique evolved by Godard). Fassbinder would have enjoyed this because opera is generally so evocative; Godard having thought everything out to utter extinction would have already abandoned such ideas by this point – a fact which likely explains the mess he made of his sequence of the 1987 film Aria (Wikipedia link to which is here.)