Berlin Alexanderplatz on a loop

Those lucky enough to be holidaying in Berlin should pay a visit to the KW Institute for Contemporary Art at the famous Auguststraße 69 to see the exhibition of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, the monumental film he made for television and based on Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel. The film consists of thirteen episodes and an epilogue, and runs to fifteen hours and thirty-nine minutes. When it was first screened in Germany in 1980, it triggered heated debates and gained international recognition as one of the film masterpieces of the past decades. The show is a follow-up to the screening at the last Berlinale.

The episodes and the epilogue of Berlin Alexanderplatz will be screened in permanent loop in fourteen separate rooms. In addition, all the episodes are shown in chronological order and full length on a central big screen. Visitors can thus decide how they approach Berlin Alexanderplatz: they can divide its unusual length up into pieces, watch episodes several times, or return to the exhibition whenever they like, as the entrance ticket entitles holders to repeated visits. The exhibition also presents stills from the film’s 224 scenes. A further, highly personal document are the tapes on which Fassbinder himself recorded his script for the film and which have never previously been made accessible to the public.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (in German; English edition planned; approx. 600 pages), edited by Klaus Biesenbach, with essays by Susan Sontag and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The show runs until 13 May 13.

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