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[flowplayer src=’http://www.bootrundle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Marriage-of-Maria-Braun-dir.by-R.-W.-Fassbinder.m4v’ splash=’http://www.bootrundle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Screen-Shot-2012-08-22-at-3.03.43-PM.png’]

 


“Anyone who wears the Bunny costume must go through a whole day of training just to learn how to wear it it properly: how to stand in it, how to sit in it, how to walk in it, how to bend in it (legs together, bend at the knees, never the waist). It should sit perfectly on the Bunny’s curves; two pairs of stockings (one nude, one black) are regulation, so everyone’s legs are the same shade; no jewelry with the exception of a watch under the cuffs. Cuff links must have the Rabbit Head logo facing inward; the collar and bow tie should be straight and snug; the headband is always worn fitting just behind the ears . . . There are very few Bunny costumes out in the wild; close tabs are kept on the whereabouts of each one, and Bunnies are rarely allowed to take them home with them, lest one end up on eBay.”

–from The Bunny Book: How to Walk, Talk, Tease, and Please Like a Playboy Bunny written by Deanna Brooks, Pennelope Jimenez, and Serria Tawan. (NY: Chronicle Books, 2007.)


 

This clip features the voice of Wim Wenders providing commentary on The Marriage of Maria Braun, a film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It has taken me my entire adult life (so far) to see a Fassbinder film. Check.

But Fassbinder’s “brand” long preceded any actual contact with his art. Rightly or wrongly, I have long associated Fassbinder with leather biking gear and transgressive sex, a grittier version of what Karl Lagerfield is hocking. The next thing I think of is Marlene Dietrich, for no reason at all. Of course, my formative introduction to all things German was through reruns of Hogan’s Heroes. It’s been an uphill climb ever since.

In fact, let’s play an automatic writing game. We’ll call it “The Ugly American.” You can do this in the privacy of your own MacMansion if you like. We’ll start with a phrase or name associated with the film. Then, say or write whatever comes into your mind. No editing. Really.

Fassbinder: Studded belts and biker fashions. Karl Lagerfield. Nan Goldin. Barbet Schroeder. SWF. Bridget Fonda. Buddha.

Post War Berlin: Rubble. Bricks. Potatoes. Tin Drum. Boy under skirt. Grandmother. Whiskers. Santa.

Wim Wenders: Angels. Coats. Circus. Actress. Mirror. Monologue. Dialogue. Cartoon. Superman. Graphic novel. Young Adult. Charlize Theron. Wife abuse. Motherhood.

War widows: Factories. Uniforms. Sewing machines. Needles. Shoes. Heels. Hooves. Horses. Meat. Restaurant. Farm. Fence. Pig. Hay. Hat. Happy. Hateful. Hard. Washing. Watch. Wait. Waist. Waiter. Waders. Udders. Others. Under.

Yah, yah, that’s enough.

 

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