There is a recurring pattern for many of the actors in the Fassbinder troupe – and it is the brief appearance. All of them at some point have their starring role, and for some there were many starring roles. But in this wide circle of cruelty, one of the methods of control, if you like – or in the very least – the cementing of this group – is the brief appearance.
There are many practical reasons for this, but in general, instead of using bit-players, Fassbinder drew on his immediate circle – the troupe, if you will, and many of the regulars were those closest to Fassbinder – although being close to Fassbinder usually meant that you were more often abused, one way or another.
Enter Ingrid Caven who was married to Fassbinder . Caption for photo : ‘I’m looking for a girl named Joanna.’
Caven’s look is strong, and her performances Fassbinder perfect – never on-centre, and proficient in measure, never over stated, so that you would never notice, for example, that she was a good thing – exactly the kind of material Fassbinder would relish, and as an established aspect of the troupe, she came to this film, spoke her three lines – and vanished. A lesser deal in a bigger film perhaps – but in a film that was shot in 20 days – probably.