In Beware of a Holy Whore, Hannes Fuchs plays David, a sound technician on the film set, and a fairly typical period wastrel. Most of the cast and crew (including him) are homosexual, but the other string to his bow is that he is freely spouting the counter-cultural political nonsense we know must have been spouted widely in the era.

 

Fuchs is very handsome indeed — some people just can’t help it. What is so marvellous about this kind of ensemble working with someone like Fassbinder, and with Michael Ballhaus on camera, is that 50 minutes of high quality film can be made with just the one set. It really is most satisfying and the actors can work accordingly, filling their roles over the course as they did in the theatre. It is Hannes Fuchs, playing David, that is the first to make the fullest use of this set by being the first to fling his glass across it — something that becomes a theme as the film rolls on.

David carries the same hangdog depression about working in the film industry as does most of the rest of the young people. On the morning of the shoot, when Lou Castel playing the director Jeff arrives, he gives his instructions to David in passing, and this includes ‘go and have a few Cuba libres’.

When the Cuba libres aren’t being served, in his daytime role, all the sound guy seems to do is wander the set with a tray of juice, which all seem to be able to help themselves to. David’s real job appears to be assistant director, but what that means in the world of Fassbinder could be anybody’s guess. Here, director Jeff explains that David is doing the job because it is so simple.

It’s a shame Hannes Fuchs hasn’t more of a career to follow; he is relaxed, good looking and acts well, and he really is a star in this, despite the general vagueness of his role. He’s someone that you feel could have been in literally hundreds of 1970s and 1980s films, with his good looks and laconic style. But he appeared in three films in 1971, including Haytabo, which he wrote himself and which includes an almost exclusively Fassbinder cast — including Eddie and Barbara Constantine, Ingrid Caven, Ulli Lommel, and Fassbinder himself.