Texas Theatre hosts month-long tribute to gay filmmaker

Fox-and-his-Friends-FassbinderRainer Werner Fassbinder was one of the most prolific filmmakers in history — he wrote and/or directed more than 20 features and documentaries, tons of TV movies and a mammoth miniseries, Berlin Alexanderplatz, and acted in a score of others. He was also openly gay — and very outre at that — in his life and films; at a time when gay cinema was consider underground, he was one of the most acclaimed international directors of his generation. He died, in 1982, of a drug overdose; he was only 37.

Oak Cliff’s Texas Theatre will spend the month of July looking back on Fassbender — first with a new documentary about his life, Fassbinder: To Love without Demands (showing July 7), followed by weekly screenings of three of his films: His uber-gay, full-frontal story of social climbing Fox and His Friends (1975); his most critically-lauded film, The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), starring his muse, Hanna Schygulla; and a restored of Kamikaze ’89, in which he starred (his last film appearance) for director Wolf Gremm.

Each screening is on Wednesday and starts at 7 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Texas Theatre series honoring Fassbinder, Sirk continues tonight with, ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’

Rainer Werner Fassbinder was one of the most prolific filmmakers in history, making 40-plus films before dying of a drug overdose at age 37. His style was varied, from comedy to epic to intense frank films that explored gay life in Germany in the 1970s. He was also a huge fan of Hollywood director Douglas Sirk, whose melodramas influenced a host of other gay filmmakers, including John Waters and Todd Haynes.

The Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff is holding a free Monday movie screening series that honors both Sirk and Fassbinder. It started last week with the screening of Sirk’s All that Heaven Allows; tonight, it screens Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Fassbinder’s remake of that. The series continues on May 2 with Sirk’s Imitation of Life, followed on May 16 by Fassbinder’s In a Year with 13 Moons.

It’s free, and all showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Bring a hankerchief — they tend to be weepies.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones