A Man Like Eva

  • 1985
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

The legend of Germany's most prolific director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, provides the inspiration for this stirring portrait of an obsessive filmmaker shooting a romantic melodrama. A strange bit of casting has a woman, Mattes (a well-known German actress and star of Fassbinder's JAIL BAIT [1977] as well as Werner Herzog's STROSZEK [1977]), portraying...read more

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The legend of Germany's most prolific director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, provides the inspiration for this stirring portrait of an obsessive filmmaker shooting a romantic melodrama. A strange bit of casting has a woman, Mattes (a well-known German actress and star of Fassbinder's JAIL BAIT

[1977] as well as Werner Herzog's STROSZEK [1977]), portraying the maniacal, overweight director. Hiding behind a false beard and a black leather motorcycle jacket, Mattes adds a dimension of stilted femininity to RWF's character that a male actor would have found nearly impossible. The film in

progress is a version of Alexandre Dumas' Lady of the Camelias, with Kreuzer and Stocker as the romantic leads, browbeaten into their desired performances by the humiliating direction of Mattes. The action that takes place on the set, however, is tame compared to the behind-the-scenes drama. As in

RWF's 1970 film BEWARE OF THE HOLY WHORE, the film crew lives together under the same roof on location while the production is in progress. In these close quarters, Mattes can reign supreme over her cast and crew when the cameras are running and when they're off. In his short career, Fassbinder

made some 40 feature films, many of them respected as the finest works to come out of Germany since the rise of Hitler (and the resulting demise of the German film industry). Much of his success was due to the tightly knit "family" of followers who worked with him, existing in a brutal but loving,

sadomasochistic working relationship. A MAN LIKE EVA attempts to expose the emotional bonding that united these people, though this was done better by Fassbinder himself in BEWARE OF THE HOLY WHORE. Unfortunately, A MAN LIKE EVA limits itself to the passionate aspects of its characters (mainly

Mattes) without bothering to establish the reasons and motives behind their actions. Mattes, however, is excellent in an extremely difficult role that brings Fassbinder's sensitive and intuitive homosexual interior to the surface. (In German; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1985
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The legend of Germany's most prolific director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, provides the inspiration for this stirring portrait of an obsessive filmmaker shooting a romantic melodrama. A strange bit of casting has a woman, Mattes (a well-known German actress… (more)

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