Watch a Young R.W. Fassbinder in Douglas Sirk’s ‘Bourbon Street Blues’
In his brief life, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a kinetic creative force of energy, having made over forty films in total. Both brutal and ferociously empathetic, he was a playwright and an actor prior to stepping behind the camera, and that sense of theatricality and grandeur present on the stage lingered throughout his cinematic oeuvre. From his early films to the BDR Trilogy, his films are full of choreographed movements and static positioning, he took his cues from musicals and art rather than traditional stage plays and the realism of film.
The film concerns an alcoholic, cockroach-fearing tenant who has failed to pay her rent and the argument that ensues between her, her landlady, and another resident of the building (played, very impressively, by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, an early known champion of the director). In true Sirk fashion, the scene, through several emotional monologues, evolves into a bittersweet parable about losing sight of your dreams and finding solace through an imagined reality.