Thoughts on Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Monday, January 10, 2011 7:49 PM By Simon

-On the title: at first, I thought it was maybe an English translation of the script, but it was more proper English/German than the line originally spoken, so...

-Beautiful, mythical, almost anecdotal (not surprising, considering its origin) look on race, age, and the hypocrisy of modern society (well, then-modern German society). Of course, many of the aggressors--gossiping neighbors, a particularly boorish son-in-law played by Fassbinder, who is no great shaking actor, but my, does he love his skinny jeans--come off as cartoons, representing different types of bigots more than actual people.

-I'd almost say El Hedi ben Salem was flat. Almost.

-The gaze of a partial nihilist, a partial optimist, a partial impartial. Bits of haven, people who don't give two rats' asses about the couple's age or race differences, the landlord's son, the grocer's wife, the bartender, they all are treated as part of the scenery, nearly drowned out by the histrionics of their less accepting counterparts, but such a relief in the first act.

-Oh, I'm afraid I can never gather much critical thought towards Fassbinder.

3 comments:

Andreas said...

I really love this movie. Brigitte Mira is such a cute, old woman, and the Sirk homage is done so lovingly, yet brutally. I'm especially moved by the scene at the end, with the ulcer-ridden Ali slapping himself in the bar bathroom. And the unexpected, anticlimactic ending.

In other words, oh my god I love this movie. Mmmm, couscous (and infidelity).

January 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM
okinawaassault said...

I never thought this movie was perfect, but I kinda appreciate how it shows human nature as wonky and volatile. That people will open up to people they usually hate.

And I love the cinematography.

January 13, 2011 at 9:36 PM
Simon said...

Andreas: I didn't get why he did that until now. Still don't know what couscous is, though.

Okinawa: Did they normally hate each other?

January 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM