Berlin Alexanderplatz was a 14-part miniseries that was adapted from a novel into a film in 1980 by writer-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (who died 2 years after this film at the age of 37). The film was an ungodly 930 minutes (15 1/2 hours) long, and though this is strikingly off-putting, let me assure you, it is a masterpiece of a film.
The film centers around a man named Franz Biberkopf who recently got out of prison after four years for killing his girlfriend, Ida. Franz can’t live in certain Berlin districts and is barred from certain things that are occurring because of his history. To be able to stay in Berlin, he must keep employment and report to a thing called “Prisoner’s Aid” every month. The film continues on a suspiciously intriguing ride for the next… oh, say… 14 hours, until the ending, which is very lucid and dream-like, occurs, leaving you, the audience, with many questions and many answers, you just don’t know where to put them.
Best Aspects: The Boredom Factorial, Writing and Acting. Boredom is a key problem, but it is met with an answer by the film since the film holds up its part of the bargain and remains interesting throughout. The writing and acting is stupendous and has no flaws.
Bottom Line: A+. I thought Das Boot (4 hours, 53 minutes) was long, but boy, was I wrong.