Viewing the opening shot of The Niklashausen Journey, those with the relevant cinematic experience will instantly recognise the back of the head of Rainer Werner Fassbinder – almost entirely known by the leather jacket at this stage. Although the scene resembles something from an awful drama class, what is happening is vital to the era in which the film was shot; discussion of revolution. Fassbinder didn’t exactly set about producing timeless classics of cinema, but his pictures have more in common with the news. It means that in many cases, particularly if he’s dealing with politics or culture, there’s quite a few things you need to know if you are to enjoy them.
When watching a Fassbinder film that doesn’t feature the man himself, one can almost drift away from the fact he is there as mastermind. In LOLA Fassbinder does not even provide so much as a voiceover, such as he does in BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ and other places, where his direct intonation and meaningful tone serve to remind us of what sort of film event this is.