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Mark Lawson

Mark Lawson is Assistant Arts Editor and television critic of the Independent.

Helluva Book

Mark Lawson, 3 September 1987

Of the initial meeting between Robert Katz, investigative hack and would-be screenwriter, and the late film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the former now records that the latter ‘seemed terribly annoyed’. To be honest, admits Katz, Fassbinder was in something of a bate throughout their brief acquaintance: his abiding image of the director is of someone ‘irascible, whining’. As this sloppy, pompous and tawdrily wart-popping biography plods on, the writer’s assessment of the director’s temperament begins to seem increasingly suspect. Irascible and whining, was he? Well, wouldn’t you whine a little with this guy on your case? Before we dismiss Fassbinder as a career grump, I think we need to know something: what was he like when this jerk wasn’t there?

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