EPISODE EIGHT OF BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ: THE SUN WARMS THE SKIN BUT BURNS IT SOMETIMES TOO.
Biberkopf had a lot to learn about life. He thinks a man who’s lost an arm, particularly a right arm is done for. But he’s got to make a living and he’s vowed to go straight. His business dealings are all in disarray. He’s in discussions with Willy (Fritz Schediwy) about fencing low profile stolen goods that don’t seem to lead to much. It’s the women in his life who seem to be there for him, even though he’s served four years in Tegel for the involuntary slaughter of his wife Ida (Barbara Valentin). Mrs. Bast (Brigitte Mira), the landlady, who witnessed the murder, tries to cheer him up, brings him coffee and offers suggestions as to how he can earn a living with his one arm.
Fran meets Mieze
Eva (Hanna Schygulla) is going out with Herbert (Roger Fritz) in love with Franz and screwing Johns out of their money with Herbert’s help. Franz was Eva’s pimp once, but he doesn’t want to live off women any more. Yet forces conspire. Eva still desires him. And she arranges to find him a nice girl. She introduces Franz to Mieze, known about town as Sonia but really named Emilie, and they quickly fall in love. Fassbinder shows the sequences where they meet with great tenderness. But the scene by the lake where we are shown the progression of their feelings is filmed in long shot, at a distance. Love is always a problem for Fassbinder and for Döblin. Franz discovers a love letter to Mieze from another man. Is their affair over, or will it go in a new direction? Mieze is in love with him so why can’t she do nice things for him, Eval tells Biberkopf. By the end of the episode Franz and Mieze are in love and he’s basically become her pimp, forces outside his control once more drawing him into a life he’s vowed to leave.
Mieze in love
Another brilliant episode with as complex a view of human relationships as I’ve seen. Biberkofp is like the canary imprisoned by forces outside his control.