‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’

Binge Berlin Alexanderplatz?

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 14-episode/15-hour 1980 TV series about an ex-prisoner drawn back into a life of crime amid the corrosiveness of 1920s Berlin, is streaming free via Eventive through Friday, March 26, thanks to the Goethe-Institut Boston.

In the U.S., Berlin Alexanderplatz was released theatrically in 1983, with cinephiles binge-watching several episodes for three nights straight in movie theaters.

Here’s a scene:

On Sunday, March 21, at 2 pm ET, Goethe-Institut Boston will also host a live Zoom conversation with Johannes Binotto, who teaches film theory and history at the Lucerne School of Art and Design in Zurich, and Peter Jelavich, history professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of Berlin Alexanderplatz: Radio, Film, and the Death of Weimar Culture (2006). You can register for the discussion at Zoom.

The Fassbinder series is based on Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel of the same name, which has been adapted two other times for the big screen, both also from Germany.

The first was a 1931 film, whose screenplay was co-written by Doblin himself, which you can stream with a subscription to The Criterion Channel ($10.99/month, 14-day free trial).

The second was just last year, with the main character transformed into an Afro-German refugee. It’s not streaming yet in the U.S., but here’s a trailer: 

If you can’t get to Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz in the next couple of weeks or don’t finish it by March 26, you can stream it with, again, a subscription to The Criterion Channel. You’ll also get a few extras, including segments about the making of the series, and its restoration in the 2000s:

(Top image source: The Criterion Channel)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

View All Articles

Leave a Comment