A roundtable discussion at the Center will follow the screening, after a short break.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's masterpiece defies categorization; it is equal parts melodrama, dark comedy, tragedy, and a nearly clinical character study. Featuring a breathtaking central performance by Volker Spengler, In a Year with 13 Moons is an ultimately tender and moving portrait of a lost and fragile soul. Begun only weeks after the suicide of his lover, this film is perhaps his most personal and powerful: Fassbinder wrote, directed, photographed and edited it.
The story of a transsexual's last five days on earth, this sometimes harrowing film negotiates material and symbolic aspects of exchange through the multiple relations of sound and image, word and flesh, Self and Other that it establishes. Like so many of Fassbinder's films, it explores the nature of identity. Oscillating between realist and allegorical referentialities, this poignant film also takes on the ideological, nearly unrepresentable, task of imaging German-Jewish relations.
In a Year with 13 Moons is presented with permission from Kinowelt GmbH.
Thomas Elsaesser is Research Professor in the Department of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam. He is Editor of Film Culture in Transition, published by Amsterdam University Press. His essays on film theory and history have appeared in over two hundred collections and anthologies. He is the author of New German Cinema: A History, Fassbinder's Germany: History Identity Subject, Weimar Cinema and After, Metropolis, and Studying Contemporary American Film.
Wayne Koestenbaum is the author of Andy Warhol, Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars and Aesthetics, Jackie Under my Skin: Interpreting an Icon, The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire (nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award), Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration, as well as the novel Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes and five books of poetry. A winner of the Whiting Writer's Award, he is Professor of English at the City University of New York and Visiting Professor in Painting at the Yale School of Art.
Leo Lensing is Professor of German Studies and Film Studies at Wesleyan University. He is the co-editor, with Michael Toteberg, of The Anarchy of the Imagination, an edition of Fassbinder's interviews and essays, and author of Letter About the Father, a biographical essay about Karl Kraus. He is currently working on a biography of Kraus.
Edward Nersessian is Co-Director of the Philoctetes Center and a training and supervising analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute/Society. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College..
Brigitte Peucker (moderator) is the Elias Leavenworth Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Professor of Film Studies at Yale University. Her books include Lyric Descent in the German Romantic Tradition, Incorporating Images: Film and The Rival Arts and The Material Image: Art and the Real in Film. She is currently working on a book on Fassbinder.