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.
In LOLA, I like to think of Fassbinder in terms of the ridiculous lighting choices he makes; the greens and yellows, the reds, lilacs and blues that he flashes all over this film, almost as an amateur overtone, to shade the project in its own aura and make it look and seem unique. It partially works, although the film just looks overtly and strangely colours and I do not think there is a hyper-visual effect achieved, in which the colours prompt certain audience thoughts and feelings concerning the era in question.
If there is any final message or lesson to be learned from this film it is probably that nobody really cares when people like construction entrepreneur Schuckert and his like profit from the shady side of capitalism. It goes on, and we accept it, as long it’s not in our faces. Probably, it’s because we know in ourselves that we are weak and prone to badness, so we expect a little of it in public life. It’s very likely, after all, we reason, the way that things get done.
It’s an amazing world of colour he creates, in this, one of his best films. Balloons, lights, a red sports car, ice cream sellers, furnishings, frocks and flowers – a riot of colour, I think is the cliché. And the reason may be unique to Fassbinder – just as his films are unique, with nothing else like them out there, in emotional impact, curiosity and in the performances gained from all his many and wonderful actors. Leaving me to puzzle over that rather mundane image with which the film begins – the man in black and white, overwritten in colour, staring at that brand new consumer durable – his media machine.