Tag Archives: How is One to Live if One Doesn’t Want to Die

Episode Two of Berlin Alexanderplatz: How Is One to Live If One Doesn’t Want to Die

What caught my eye in the extraordinary second episode of Berlin Alexanderplatz is as follows:

The credit sequence. It’s most unusual in that the opening credits acknowledge the contributions of the main pillars of Fassbinder’s team, and this includes not just actors but also camera crew, sound people, production managers, editors etc. The end credits to each episode convey credits more conventionally (see above).

The denunciation of marriage as an institution, which is repeated twice (see above).

The heartfelt anger over Paragraph 175, first expressed by the newsagent then read in a beautifully expressive way by Gunther Lamprecht as the story of a man whose life was ruined because he met his sunshine, the boy who gave his life meaning and made it all worthwhile. Further proof, if needed, that who makes movies matters (see above).

The standoff with the communists in the tube, with the extraordinary shot where they all remain still, a tableau, as the camera circles around them 360 degrees, and Fassbinder in voice-over, speaks poetically, alliteratively in a way that comments on the action and reproduces some of what Döblin in the novel does with sounds, found poems, bits of the bible, songs etc (see above).

José Arroyo