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Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?
Why Does Herr R Run Amok
Actors: Lilith Ungerer, Kurt Raab, Lilo Pempeit, Franz Maron, Harry Baer
Directors: Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2006     1hr 28min

Rainer Werner Fassbinder turned to color for his fourth film, a bleak portrait of middle-class banality. Kurt Raab, the plump, baby-faced art director usually cast as the director's most pathetic characters, stars as Herr ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lilith Ungerer, Kurt Raab, Lilo Pempeit, Franz Maron, Harry Baer
Directors: Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Creators: Dietrich Lohmann, Michael Fengler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Dr. Brugger, Peer Raben
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Fantoma
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/30/2006
Original Release Date: 11/17/1977
Theatrical Release Date: 11/17/1977
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Exquisite Fassbinder demands repeat viewings
Curt Surly | Bellingham, WA United States | 06/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film requires concentration and repeat viewings. Fassbinder employs exceedingly long takes and a relatively still camera to portray a man slowly being led to the end of his tether. Herr R (Kurt Raab, a Fassbinder regular) is everyman. Indeed, each scene conveys the sheer drabness of his daily routine. Work, wife, in-laws. None of it registers. Despite the perfect middle class life--emotionally, he's stone. It has been said that he is invisible in this film. Certainly, he is not seen as something particularly dynamic or magnetic. He doesn't attract people, none of his co-workers seem interested in him personally. Likewise, he doesn't seem interested in them.But he does feel. He's passionate about music, sings a gorgeous, heartbreaking ballad that causes him to sigh slightly and look even more wan and dejected than usual. His wife bores him, her friends irritate him. Work is a release of sorts, but he's not making any progress there. He tries to impress the right people but he ends up making a total ass of himself. All of these factors lead him on a particular course. Hence, the title of the film. The key to answering it is careful, patient viewing. This is a brilliant example of building up evidence to support myriad theses about the motivations of a fundamental character. Just be focusing on Herr Raab's face provides essential clues as to the forces that drive him towards his destiny. Great film."
Adella L. Thompson | Bellingham, Washington United States | 06/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a film that should not be too thouroughly explained prior to watching. Mostly it is a series of the every day happenings in the life of Herr R, a reticent underachiever. He is the child of a certain spiritless bourgeois existence. We watch him at his job, not quite making points with the boss, not quite winning the favour of his coworkers. We watch him try to teach his average, but slightly dreamy, son to pronounce properly. We watch his wife hosting the self-absord and catty neighbors to tea. In short, we watch an unextraordinary bit of an unextraordinary life, which is somehow familiar and for some reason completely entrancing. As one watches it can't helped but be asked why wouldn't Herr R run amok?"
So realistic it's scary
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"why does herr r run amok is not a typical fassbinder movie - and it stands out stylistically from the other 50 or so movies he made... It is shot almost like a documentary.. improvised scenes that bring so much realism to the screen.. it is an interesting look at the german middle class of the time period.. and what it takes to drive a man insane... it is the realism that is so consistently presented throughout the film which makes the climax so unnerving.. it is like real life in the moment.. there is no escaping the images on the screen.. in most movies we are shielded by a sound track (which tells us how to react) or by visual cues like cutting back and forth or zooming.. there is nothing of that here no visual safety net.. This is a young and talented cast and director.. one of the early antitheatre films which would eventually evolve into a more cinematic melodramatic style.. but it are these early groundbreaking works that would set the framework for an inspired and all too brief career.."
One of Fassbinder's best
N. Rossi | Sewell, NJ United States | 04/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Very deliberately paced and shot in a detached, voyeuristic manner, "Herr R" documents a man's slow and subtle meltdown from his meaningless, banal, unsatisfying environment, ending in a tragic act of violence. The story itself is a familiar one, but the presentation is what really sells it. There is nothing obvious about Raab's transformation -- you really have to pay attention, look for the subtle tics here and there that tell you you're watching a man slowly unravel. And then it's just a waiting game -- what's he gonna do, and when's it gonna happen? And at the very moment you, the viewer, cannot take it anymore (not unlike our beloved anti-hero), BOOM. It happens.

The film is not particularly easy to sit through, if only because we are subjected to the same banalities that are eating away at our protagonist. In fact, these boring, trivial glimpses of everyday drudgery comprise the majority of the film. This was clearly what Fassbinder intended, and when you see that final scene and the robotic, emotionless way Herr Raab goes about it, you know there is no other way the story could have been told. ****"