Repertory Picks

Veronika Voss in Vancouver

Next week, the Vancity Theatre in Vancouver will screen Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s penultimate feature, Veronika Voss, as part of the series B&W By Design: Monochrome Movies in the Color Era. The second installment of Fassbinder’s BRD trilogy, a series of films centered on women in postwar Germany, this satirical melodrama draws inspiration from the true story of one of the director’s favorite actresses, Third Reich–era star Sybille Schmitz. Set in the 1950s, the film chronicles the descent of its title heroine, a once-beloved starlet (Rosel Zech) living in obscurity in Munich. Drug-addled and haunted by her memories, she strikes up an unlikely romance with a sportswriter enchanted by her beauty but soon finds herself unable to hide her emotional volatility and addiction to morphine. Shot in shimmering black and white by frequent Fassbinder collaborator Xaver Schwarzenberger, this masterpiece of German cinema screens on 35 mm on Monday. In the meantime, read Michael Töteberg’s account of Veronika Voss’s storied production history.

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