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What happens to Maria and her husband in the final scene was the subject of heated discussion after the film played at Cannes in May 1979. Mr. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) With The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun), his greatest success, Fassbinder finally attained the popular acceptance he sought with German audiences. "The Marriage of Maria Braun" is the fourth volume in the Rutgers Films in Print Series and the most contemporary of those to appear in it thus far. Fassbinder’s biggest international box-office success and the first part of his “postwar trilogy,” The Marriage of Maria Braun is a heartbreaking study of a woman picking herself up from the ruins of her own life, as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past. I find it interesting that the baby's cry is the only sign of young people in the entire film. The film stars Hanna Schygulla as Maria, whose marriage to the soldier Hermann remains unfulfilled due to World War II and his post-war imprisonment. Although her uppity attitude isn't always popular, and there is plenty of talk about Maria (and her "ways"), Maria Braun laughs it all away. "I can't explain. Showing all 55 external reviews. Hanna Schygulla is a knockout in The Marriage of Maria Braun, an intimate epic that reaffirms Rainer Werner Fassbinder's mastery of examining multifaceted people and a complicated nation. She orders him to meet her at a restaurant and is already eating when he arrives. Fassbinder's world was one in which sex, ego and money drove his characters to cruelty, sadism and self-destruction. The points Fassbinder's trying to make are a bit obtuse and perhaps not designed for American viewers (those are his prerogatives, after all) but the early scenes of the country immediately after the war are fascinating and he's aided immensely by the great Michael Ballhaus' restless camera. Maria marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only for him to go missing in the war. Review #1,511 (Reviewed at German Film Festival – first published 26 Nov 2017) Spoilers: No. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. There is a black American soldier she is fond of (they share the movie's only scene of physical affection), but when her husband unexpectedly returns and finds them in bed, she settles the matter by breaking a bottle over the GI's head. The Marriage of Maria Braun (MMB) is about a German girl (Maria) getting married to a German soldier (Herman Braun) just at the ending of the war. It is the story of a shrewd and ambitious woman who uses her sexual gifts as a means of achieving success. The madness depicted in this one seen is really dependent on the sound. Sensual and tough Maria Braun. There was one situation in a train which was particularly bad when a woman and a man, strangers at this point, talk to each other. Alone, Maria puts to use her beauty and ambition in order to find prosperity during Germany's "economic miracle" of the 1950s. The Marriage of Maria Braun is the first part of Fassbiner’s BRD Trilogy. Fassbinder's later films looked like elegant studio productions, although even "Maria Braun," perhaps his most expensive, cost less than $1 million. When Hanna Schygulla says to her husband in prison `this are bad times for feelings' it is Fassbinder saying that in the seventies cinema there's no place for the classic melodrama of the 40s and 50s, unless all the craze that then was suggested now turns somehow more explicit. You might even say I'm an expert on it". While Mildred rebuilds her life after a personal tragedy, so does Maria, albeit in the backdrop of the post-war German economic disaster. I think because she gains a savage energy from these reminders of how her world was blown to pieces. Fassbinder's opening scene is an excellent example of the female lead character, Maria Braun, becoming a metaphor for the German nation. Maria decides to get a job as a dancer/prostitute in a club that caters to American GI's and she meets a black Army soldier named Bill (Greg Eagles) and they start to see one another on a steady basis. All three films in the trilogy look at these situations through the eyes of a strong-willed, arrogant and determined female-protagonist who strives against all odds to achieve the kind of lifestyle that she has always desired, but once she does, finds herself still feeling empty and lacking in spirit. Some of his early work looks homemade ("We didn't know what we were doing, and it was like a game" remembers Hanna Schygulla, who starred in 20 of his films). Three years later, alone in a room, naked on a mattress, surrounded by money, watching "20,000 Years in Sing Sing" on television, he gave a fatal jolt to his heart with what he phoned a friend to say was his last line of cocaine. The major difference is that Maria's husband is a much more sympathetic character than Mildred's daughter, which robs the movie of some tension. "Because," she says, "you were well brought up, and I pretend that I was.". The sounds from this opening scene can also act as narratives paralleling Maria's dreadful life. The country is in shambles; one sees people leaving everything that they are busy with for a cigarette. The war has ended and Germany must rebuild and one day on a train Maria meets Karl Oswald (Ivan Desny) who is a successful businessman in textiles and she uses her charms to get a job. "Die Ehe der Maria Braun" or "The Marriage of Maria Braun" is a German film that runs for almost 2 hours and was written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder only 3 years before his untimely death. What I admire most about Maria Braun is Fassbinder’s attention to the minutest of details. Communism turned toward Capitalism and the strains of war turned Maria Braun's marriage into a farce. The Marriage of Maria Braun Blu-ray Be the first to write a review. There is a strong resemblance of 'Maria Braun' to Curtiz' noirish 'Mildred Pierce'. Wirtschaftswunder: Fassbinder's economic miracle. text. It is the sentimental accountant Senkenberg who loves Oswald best, but he loves the company, too, and sees that Maria is good for it. Alright already, get over it, was Handke's comment to the 1968 meeting of the Gruppe 48 -- those writers who wanted to "heal" from the war. She calls him up when she wants sex, humiliates him, says she is fond of him and then treats him distantly. External Reviews The Marriage of Maria Braun Movie Review The Marriage of Maria Braun is a 1979 drama film directed by Reiner Werner Fassbinder and starring Hanna Schygulla . That's how long her marriage lasts before she loses him to the war and then to prison. Awards A complex, pessimistic tale of post WWII Germany, this is one of Fassbinder's masterpieces that brings a step beyond the classic melodrama form articulated by Douglas Sirk. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Marriage of Maria Braun is one of the finest movies this prolific German director has made. A rich, evocative and darkly ironic masterpiece, Most effective entry in Fassbinder's Wirtschaftswunder Trilogy, torrid melodrama about a woman who can get what she wants, but needs are another matter, The Marriage of Maria Braun. As is the case with "The Marriage of Maria Braun", we see the parallels between the people and the infrastructure of Germany as the exteriors are rebuilt, but the interiors remain in ruins. The film has a running time of 120 minutes, is rated R and is German with English subtitles. Review by Carlos Valladares 2 The honky-tonk, stuck-in-a-Mae-West-flick stiltedness of this Fassbinder allegory is sure to turn more than a … It’s a very populist movie. Maria hears that her husband Hermann has died in the war so she gets very serious with Bill. "Maria Braun" was their final film together; observe how they like to keep the camera moving, through elegant setups in which characters and locations are arranged so that the fluid visuals flow from long shots through closeups without cutting, often moving behind walls, peering through doors and windows, looking around posts, so that the characters seem jammed into the space around them. The cinematographer Ballhaus worked with Fassbinder on a dozen films in nine years, then "burned out," resigned, and started working for Martin Scorsese, who by comparison "was like a dream." Although Maria gets pregnant she does not have the child giving one the idea that Germany is unfit for all young life and Maria is unfit for motherhood. I've cut the intermediate sequence to show you all the scene of Maria and her sister perfectly dressed in the middle of the ruins. Then came more years of the war. After only a day spent together, Hermann must return to his unit, and is later posted as missing, presumed dead, on the Russian front. But in this version, instead of the tragic Mother trying to save her children and mourning them, Maria Braun sells out for comfort from collaboration with the Nazi's through the economic wonder "Wirtschaftswunder" of the cold war. It is never difficult to discover what they want, or puzzling to see how they go about it. After the brief opening wedding scene, the story rejoins Maria and her mother immediately after World War II, when they are sharing a flat carved out of a bombed building. While climbing up to the success she always remembers her husband, Hermann (her man) and convinces herself that whatever she does – is for him, for their future happy life together. Her conversations with Oswald are like the sparkling wit of screwball comedy, rotated into psychological cruelty. | She is so loyal to her husband of less than a day that she kills for him, and so pitiless to her lover of many years that she drives him to death. Review by Mike D'Angelo Pro. The two make sacrifices for each other hoping to build a better life for themselves. Rewatched Jul 07, 2019. She did not plan to kill him, but he's dead. (Hanna Schygula) marries a soldier in the middle of World War II and spends a half of day and the whole night with him. She got word that Herman died at the front, and things develop between her and the American soldier. I do not recommend the watch. With Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen. Maria is determined to do well and climbs the corporate ladder and becomes Karl's mistress. User Ratings To be just as cold as required, An intelligent but strangely lifeless allegorical work. Film starts out with Maria (Schygulla) and Hermann Braun (Klaus Lowitsch) just getting married as the bombs continue to fall and Hermann is shipped out towards the waning days of the war and now Maria and her mother and sister must scrape by to survive. Fassbinder made at least 30 features, or many more if you count his television productions, including the 15-hour miniseries "Berlin Alexanderplatz," and he did it all between 1969 and his death at age 37 in 1982. "Why don't we just leave?" Thumbs down. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's most profitable film, "The Marriage of Maria Braun" tells the tale of an upwardly mobile, independent Maria Braun (Hanna Schygulla), a woman who uses a combination of business smarts, tenacity and promiscuity to lift herself out of desperation. The population is starving and desperate; when an American GI tosses away a cigarette butt, a dozen Germans scramble for it. We are introduced to a woman who is hardened by the war and its aftermath (or maybe, her innate strength enabled her to survive.) The Marriage of Maria Braun. All the time she is keeping score: nylons and cigarettes at first, then a good job, fashionable clothes, a house in the suburbs, expensive restaurants. The suggestion is that the war years and the postwar years wounded the German psyche so profoundly that the survivors wanted what they wanted, now, on their terms. Marrying a man doomed to be among the last to "fall" for the Fuehrer and the German Reich, Maria is now "Frau" instead of "Fraulein". His lead character, a young woman, determined to emerge out of Germany's WWII ruins as a success, literally "walks over corpses" to get what she wants. He confesses he was frightened to come; she has him so off-balance he has no idea how to please her. Initially searching for her MIA husband, she eventually gives it up and moves on. Maria remains fiercely loyal to this absent spouse, who is essentially a stranger, for all the rest of the film; perhaps it is her form of loyalty to Germany in its defeat. "Maria Braun"'s style reminds much of melodramas by Fassbinder's favorite Hollywood director, Douglas Sirk and offers a glimpse of the loss and survival in postwar Germany. | An explosion ripped through the building, to begin with, and she and Hermann had to sign the papers on a pile of rubble on the street. Nominated for Outstanding Debut Feature at Cinema Eye Honors, Celebrate The HistoryMakers 20@2020: 20 Days and 20 Nights Streams Online Through December 20th, The Mandalorian Chapter 15 Recap: Those Poor Mudscuffers. Whatever happened to Maria Braun during those years created a woman who is strong and cruel, sad and indomitable. | Herman walks in on them, in bed, and after a confrontation between him and the American, Maria killed the American. Review- The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978) Review- Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) Review- Katzelmacher (1969) The most sympathetic character is Oswald (Ivan Desny), a manufacturer who sat out the war in comfort, perhaps in exile, and has returned to take over the reins of his business from his faithful accountant Senkenberg (Hark Bohm). But it certainly isn't necessary to enjoying the movie. Thankfully the couple's union is officially sealed and Hermann then goes off to fight in the war himself. Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It never felt authentic in a way they were rushing the words and dialogs. ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun’ review by Captain Quint • Letterboxd Captain Quint’s review published on Letterboxd: Thematically, Braun is an economics study of post war Germany, and tells of a woman’s climb from rags to riches. The Marriage of Maria Braun 1979 ★★★★½ . Perhaps it's just as well that I waited. Second viewing, last seen 1997 (during MoMA's big Fassbinder retro early that year). I'm having an affair with you.". But he was a genius. Fassbinder made at least 30 features, or many more if you count his television productions, including the 15-hour miniseries "Berlin Alexanderplatz," and he did it all between 1969 and his death at age 37 in 1982. This 1978 Fassbinder movie starts with the film's eponymous hero Maria getting married to her husband Hermann in Germany during World War II just as a bomb being dropped threatens to curtail proceedings. After prosperity begins, Fassbinder relies more on words and the visuals become more traditional and blander and it's also here where the melodrama escalates, sometimes pretentiously. It's a surprise, but you must admit it is as plausible an ending as any other. And all this for the sake of Democracy. She carries on with her life, becomes a successful businesswoman being not only sensual but intelligent, ambitious, and willing to use sex whenever or wherever necessary: "I don't know a thing about business, but I do know what German women want. The character of Maria is fascinating as a person, but it also serves as an allegory for Germany during this period of reconstruction, now generally referred to as the "economic miracle" ("Wirtschaftswunder"). Explosions continue as Maria takes cover on the ground, surrounded by destruction and chaos she is helpless yet alive. "The Marriage of Maria Braun" starts immediately after WWII, and lasts through the creation of the Bundeswehr in 1954. 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