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Angst vor der Angst (1975) HD online

Angst vor der Angst (1975) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama
Original Title: Angst vor der Angst
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Writers: Asta Scheib,Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Released: 1975
Budget: DEM 375,000
Duration: 1h 28min
Video type: Movie
Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not understand her situation. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Lore are openly hostile to her. She resorts to valium and drink, and looks for sympathy, but to no avail.
Complete credited cast:
Margit Carstensen Margit Carstensen - Margot
Ulrich Faulhaber Ulrich Faulhaber - Kurt, ihr Mann
Brigitte Mira Brigitte Mira - Mutter
Irm Hermann Irm Hermann - Lore
Armin Meier Armin Meier - Karli
Adrian Hoven Adrian Hoven - Dr. Merck
Kurt Raab Kurt Raab - Herr Bauer
Ingrid Caven Ingrid Caven - Edda
Lilo Pempeit Lilo Pempeit - Mrs. Schall
Helga Märthesheimer Helga Märthesheimer - Dr. von Unruh
Herbert Steinmetz Herbert Steinmetz - Dr. Auer
Hark Bohm Hark Bohm - Dr. Rozenbaum
Constanze Haas Constanze Haas - Bibi, Margots Tochter


Reviews: [11]

  • avatar

    Anardred

    Really, the plot is nothing different than your average movie on the Lifetime cable network: a woman suffers from post-partem depression while no one around her seems to care much; eventually, she becomes addicted to Valium and alcohol. But what a difference a genius can make, and Fassbinder is clearly a genius. And his lead actress, Margit Carstensen, gives an absolutely brilliant performance. It's a small and subtle picture (made for television, actually), and I wonder if anyone else would be as impressed as I was. But I really felt that Fassbinder and Carstensen captured something remarkable here. The other actors are fine, as well. Ulrich Faulhaber plays her odd husband. He cares for his wife, but probably not in the way she needs. I noticed early in the film that he never touches his wife, and later in the film his mother complains that it is abnormal the way the mother hugs and kisses her children. The nosy mother-in-law is played by Brigitte Mira, looking really ugly after making me cry in Fear Eats the Soul, made the previous year. I would say that that character is a cliché if I didn't know so many people exactly like her! Irm Herrmann plays the sister-in-law, and Adrian Hoven plays a pharmacist with whom Carstensen begins an affair after her prescription for Valium runs out. These two characters have the kind of hidden depth that make the film so good. The same can be said about Kurt Raab and Ingrid Caven, both playing other people with psychological problems, the former appearing once in a while in the streets and staring knowingly at Carstensen, the latter Carstensen's roommate at an asylum in which she undergoes some treatment; when Carstensen is undergoing sleep therapy, Caven desperately wants to converse with her, but when she is awake the woman becomes catatonic. Peer Raben's music is excellent, as always, and Fassbinder uses the music of Leonard Cohen wonderfully (as he also did in his more famous 1975 film, Fox and His Friends). 9/10.
  • avatar

    Cia

    Margit Carstensen plays the lead, Margot, a woman who is what the early 20th century doctors would have used as a dictionary definition of "hysterical". Indeed, at one point early in the film (albeit referring to her soon-to-be baby she'll give birth to) she says that she's hysterical, in a manner that is true but with the voice of something else. Throughout Fear of Fear her character fluctuates from various self-inflicted ailments, and the simple macho "Guy" thing would be to just slap her and get on with the day. But that's not at all the way of Margot's husband, Kurt, would ever operate. In fact he is just what every woman would want in a man, husband, father, all of the above: caring, considerate, supportive, but at the same time studying for some math exam and not able to give undivided attention to her. The spiral downward continues for her with Valium, booze, an on-off bond with her five year old daughter, and worst of all her nosy mother and sister in laws living one floor up.

    This is top-shelf Fassbinder. It's somewhat cheap with its budget because it is a TV movie that, frankly, is obscure due in some small part to the director probably making it so quickly he didn't want to bother going through all the motions of releasing it in theaters. But a full-length movie it is, and a superb one, a scorching-hot melodrama that finds the fragility of this character, the truth and liabilities with this volatile, beautiful force, but never going too far into horrid melodrama. Anyone else could make a respectable Saturday afternoon Lifetime movie (all of the ingredients essentially are there). Fassbinder isn't into just telling a story of a kind of neglected woman who can't control her mind. It's also an important message put forward, first off, about the possible problems psychologically for a woman to give birth (post-partem depression, which is very real), and that it's not just hysterics or fodder for gossip.

    There's a lot of depth here, and not just in stuff like the recurring presence of the character Bauer, a mysterious guy who keeps standing outside of the apartment building, seeing Margot going to the doctor's office, leering, creepy in his own way but nearly ghost-like. That is the kind of touch that keeps things just so strange enough that it doesn't become clichéd, and around something as symbolic as the character Bauer he piles up the drama: the mother (Brigitte Mira in a perfect two-dimensional turn) and the sister of Kurt as the watchdogs of the whole unraveling, the doctor who has an affair with the wayward Margot, the total love for her child that gets twisted in the lack of logic and restraint. And finally Margot herself, played by Carstensen like it should be the performance of her career- which just for television is truly remarkable- achieving a slight Catherine Deneuve quality only, frankly, deeper in places to draw from emotionally.

    Newcoming fans of the director's obscenely big body of work (like myself) would do well to check out this little-known treat of a 'woman under the influence' drama that rises way above most of its conventions or, if not always, enough to keep things fascinating.
  • avatar

    Dalallador

    this is a lesser known work in Fassbinder's ouevre, but it is really worth seeing. Margot, a housewife pregnant with her second child begins to feel a strange fear that she can't explain. Her vision becomes blurry and she begins to fear that she is going insane. She seeks relief in valium, cognac, and has a brief affair with the local pharmacist. It is a well shot film, the actress playing Margot has a kind of Karen Carpenter creepy frailty. There are slightly campy and melodramatic elements, but the vision of the nightmare of depression and modern life is really powerful.
  • avatar

    Fato

    Margot, is a middle class German housewife, who is having some problems. For one she's seeing things, the camera ripples as if under water, whenever she experiences one these fits. Or else it zooms in dramatically, as if her focus is being thrown off completely. Is she just depressed, hysterical, schizophrenic, suffering an anxiety disorder, different doctors tell her different things.

    Her husband is largely uninterested he's studying for some Math exam, in their apartment beneath his mothers and sisters. Needless to say Mom and big sis, are always sticking their head in with helpfull hints on how she can be a better, mother, wife, etc. One doctor wants to have an affair, out of desperation she does, when she has sex she stops thinking "then the fear doesn't come". That only works, til she wants more, than he's willing to give, then its a booze and pills cocktail, to numb the days away. The only person who asks her to talk is a man from across the street who she tells her daughter is "sick in the head", and avoids at all costs, hes a walking mirror of her, but one that at least reaches out. Its she who rebuffs him, she may be hallucinating, but she's not one of "those people".

    Like other drama's about housewives on the edge, Cassavettes actors showcase, "A Woman Under The Influence", or Todd Haynes germaphobic "Safe", this is gripping and sad film. The big difference is Fassbinder, adds a lot of humor, especially in the music, which is almost timed for comedy at points.

    Its a disorientating experience, and maybe flat to some, but I understood Margot's plight, which wasn't just limited to her station as a housewife, her love or lack of love, or her substance abuse, perhaps its something she will never be rid off. Some people just have to like this, under a wavy ripply world, of constant uncertainty and fear from nowhere. Fassbinder, puts us in her shoes, forcing us into empathy without a clear solution. Someone commented its like the best Lifetime, movie ever. I disagree mostly, but wouldn't rule it out entirely. When the story is weak, the film itself picks up, lingering or changing scenes, cutting of sentences, to heighten the emotional tension, and for the most part it works
  • avatar

    Yar

    Margot is a young, beautiful housewife living in comfy middle class apartment with her ever busy husband, daughter and new baby on the way. Near the end of her term she starts to feel uneasy, "hysteric" and fearful. Margot seems to be losing her mind, and what's worse, starts to believe it. Now she has to persuade other members of her family to take notice....

    This is the story of woman in the midst of personal crisis, abandoned, frustrated and feeling trapped by her own life. Developing some sort of dissociation and facing frequent depressive episodes she focuses on herself forgetting about her "duties" as mother and wife along the way. She slowly transforms from quiet, submissive wife to rebellious infant terrible. Margot is taking further steps to distant herself from every day life, cold husband and nosy mother and sister in law - living next door. In fact she sheds middle class skin and runs from clichés and expectations the society has forced upon her. Of course, she's not very subtle while doing it: her goal is to draw attention to herself.

    She descends into madness she once feared and - just like the rest of the "normal" people around her - mocked, embracing it by now. More pills another sip of cognac...and the fear takes a step back. Husband starts to take notice, he is worried, but Margot might be too far gone.

    Essentially, without preaching or intervening, Fassbinder just tells a story, no clear solutions, no answers to why is this woman so sad and resentful of her life. But I find this portrayal very true to life (for those who can afford it) and psychologically compelling. Sometimes it's the way sensitive individuals protest against the expectations and shelves they are being stuffed into...sometimes the fear of losing oneself while playing the role is just overwhelming.

    The fear of finding the true self...and never finding the true self.
  • avatar

    BlackBerry

    "Fear of Fear" (1975) is one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's movies in which the destruction of a human being by society is shown. In an interview, Fassbinder said that lack of communication leads to brutal force. Force has two faces and appears as self-destruction like the death of Herr R. in "Why does Herr R. run amok?" (1969), and of Fox in "Fox and his friends" (1974) or as destruction of others like the death of a substitute of the protagonist's father in "I only want you to love me" (1976). In Fassbinder's own words: "I really seems that we have to destroy others in order not to destroy ourselves, for the sake of protecting ourselves from self-destruction". As depicted in may Fassbinder-movies, the mechanisms of destruction by society work basically because this mechanisms paradoxically evoke guilt in the person being destroyed, but guilt is a necessarily insufficient interpretation of the reaction of others to oneself. It is thus a feedback-process based on under-determined information and has to lead in consequence to the breakdown of the information processing system, in this special case the human being, who develops that guilt.

    After the birth of her second child, Margot falls into a deep depression. Her husband has no time to listen to her, her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law are openly fiendish to her, her daughter is to small to understand her, and her brother-in-law, although on her side, is unable to help her because of his own fragile position. To the depressive Mr. Bauer who offers to listen to her, she does not want to speak because she cannot accept her own depression. Her physician prescribes her Valium, but she gets quickly addicted and needs more than prescribed. The pharmacist is willing to furnish her with the pills in exchange to sexual intercourse. From him, she also learns the helpful effect of cognac, so that she ends up by taking cocktails of Valium and alcohol. These two substances have the desired effect because they isolate her from an environment that she cannot stand anymore and which she wants to flee, helping her in her refusal of being a member of a society of which she is unable to feel herself as a member anymore. But this society in the shape of her closest relatives call her back from her inner emigration and destroy her fully by sending her through the mills of psychiatry in order to turn her into a weak-willed but by it useful member of their society. At the end of the movie, we see that Mr. Bauer has chosen to go his way to the end while Margot has turned into an automata-like being unable even to recognize Mr. Bauer's suicide. One remembers the famous passage of the Revelation in which we read that the greatest fear does not consist in dying but in not being able to die.
  • avatar

    Golkree

    I don't think I've ever been as struck by the camera movement in a Fassbinder film as I was by that in this one. It makes this chamber drama seem less claustrophobic, but also more panicked, than it would otherwise seem. And, as the title suggests, it is pretty panicked.

    Fassbinder's most frequent muse is Douglas Sirk, but here he seems to me more inspired by Nicholas Ray, especially by Bigger Than Life, with a father figure turning towards drugs as an escape from domestic drudgery replaced by a mother figure. This film also probably directly influenced Todd Haynes when he was creating Safe. But I think Fear of Fear is emotionally and intellectually richer than either it's ancestor or descendant.
  • avatar

    Sagda

    Gilman's classic short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" seems to be the model for this Fassbinder TV movie (not American TV--that's obvious). As in the original story, post-partum depression is only the immediate cause of the heroine's depressed, anxious and eventual insane state. In the story, the narrator's crisis is certainly located in patriarchy. I do not know Fassbinder or his work well enough to know whether Margo (Margit Carstensen) is suffering from straight up alienation or the patriarchal blues but most of the indicators point to the latter. There is far more focus on marriage here and male disinterest in or mis-readings of Margo's suffering than on social dislocation per se. Both the husband and the sincere, sympathetic brother-in-law fail, like the physician husband in the story, to grasp, to one degree or another, the nature of Margo's pain, which lead in both pieces, to deeper isolation and madness.

    Perhaps Margit Carstensen's performance determines how one likes or dislikes this film. I thought it was as convincing as her ill looks, her ill eyes, her ill expressions, but I'm sure some viewers will disagree. For them, perhaps the film's restraint, honesty, and intelligence can be the difference maker.
  • avatar

    Nahelm

    After seeing this film, I was wondering why Fassbinder has included the character played by Kurt Raab. Now I know, in Fassbinders film "Warum läuft Herr R. Amok?" shooted 5 years prior to "Angst vor der Angst", Kurt Raab played a character in a similar situation as Margit. But he was reacting different to his inability to match the expectations of society, he ran amok and after killing his family, he did hang himself up. In the last scene of "Angst vor der Angst", Margit sees through her window how his coffin is pulled in the hearse. He was living just next door to Margits house, so I guess Fassbinder wanted to show how different people (man/woman) can react to the same situation. This is another great film of Fassbinder, don't miss it !!
  • avatar

    Celore

    "Angst vor der Angst" or "Fear of Fear" is a German movie from over 40 years ago that runs for slightly under 90 minutes, so definitely one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's shortest works. I liked Margit Carstensen in Martha and I think in this one here, she is convincing again as well. The suffering wife roles seemed to have been perfect for her, even if her husband here is obviously completely different compared to the brutal sadist in "Martha". Anyway, I am glad she got a German Film Award nomination here as she was really the only thing that impressed me about this film. The rest is the usual Fassbinder that is not for everybody. Not only do the women look like dolls, but the film moves very slowly and focuses on all the characters and elaborates on their behavior for the most part. Carstensen here plays a woman in danger of going insane after giving birth to her second child. I personally found most of the other characters not really interesting enough, so I am glad the film did not go for that long. But my lack of interest in this film here has also to do with subjective factors. One would be that I quite like Brigitte Mira and "Angst essen Seele auf" and she is so likable in there and generally in her work that it was difficult to see her as amorally bankrupt character in here, an antagonist to the main character even (and to general harmony). So yeah, I did not enjoy this film a lot. Then again, I am not the greatest Fassbinder fan, even if I enjoy the works I just mentioned and also 2 or 3 others, such as "Herr R.". "Fear of Fear" is not one of the filmmaker's earliest or final works, somewhat from early in the second half of his tragically short-lived career. But it is also not among his best works. I do not recommend it. Thumbs down.
  • avatar

    Ricep

    what they hey I'll go ahead and give it a 7 which it seems to me is high high praise here in general, whereas I tend towards the extremes.

    it's interesting to see MC in this sort of role, the husband and brother in law characters are very touching. the PR score is quite different from the music in other of Fassbinder's films, you can just about hear that it's by the same composer. this is appropriate given the exceptional nature of the story and theme. Still, the story doesn't really amount to a lot... somehow... and just kind of stops rather than coming to any sort of satisfying close.

    at least tonight I got to see a Fassbinder film I never saw before. I think there might be only a couple left. wish someone would resurrect his version of Cukor's "The Women"... which has completely found its niche in obscurity somehow...