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In a Year With 13 Moons


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Product Details

  • Actors: Volker Spengler, Ingrid Caven, Gottfried John, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Eva Mattes
  • Directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Writers: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: May 18 2004
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001A79DK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,508 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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By A Customer on April 19 2004
Format: DVD
Despite the flaws of '13 Moons,' I still believe that this is one of Fassbinder's best films. Part of that conclusion is of course the understanding that every Fassbinder film has flaws. But I judge films on how effective they were in telling a story and how effective they are in making me think. And this film still has a strong impression on me 10 years after seeing it last. For me, the film is best understood during the skyscraper sequence. We have an unknown character peeping through a keyhole in an abandoned office tower and laughing hysterically. That of course, is Fassbinder's little jab at the audience, as we are all voyeurs. Later, we see an executive playing a kind of "movieokie" / imitation of a Jerry Lewis sequence on television. A total carbon copy of a preexisting text, done in the twisted humorous style that only Fassbinder can deliver. We later see that same executive subject himself to a staged kidnapping drill by his security staff, which places the film in historical context as left-wing terrorists attacked CEO's during the 1970's. And finally, we see a man hang himself in an abandoned suite. It is over the top, unrealistic, and I'm sure it is torture for most viewers (if they weren't driven out by the early slaughterhouse scene), but it is still a masterpiece as it is a compelling example of post-modernism in the true sense. If you are a student of New Wave or Avant Garde cinema, 13 Moons is a must-see. I can't convince you that it is a masterpiece. You just have to see it for yourself. It ranks with "The American Soldier," "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant," "Love is Colder than Death," "Chinese Roulette," and "Fox and his Friends," as Fassbinder's best works. If you want to see the darkest work of art to come of out West Germany in the late 1970's, this is it.
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Format: DVD
The other reviewers are correct to write that this is a difficult film to watch, as are all of Fassbinder's films. But that's why "In a Year with 13 Moons" is such a masterpiece: the director isn't trying to slip you a wink; he has made a brutal film to convey brutal ideas. And whether you agree with those ideas or not, Fassbinder's violence here is never insincere or gratuitous. (There are also a few well-timed moments of comic relief.) An astonishing combination of craftsmanship and raw emotion from a filmmaker at his very best. It makes other films look lazy or cowardly, or both.
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Format: DVD
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST STYLISH FILMS EVER MADE. NOTHING IN IT IS EXCESSIVE - THE DIRECTOR IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING WITH EVEN THE MOST DISTURBING SLAUGHTERHOUSE SCENE.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Fassbinder's Dark Masterpiece Jan. 6 2005
By moses the man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This film is a masterpiece because of the way it challenges viewers: it refuses to be mere escapist entertainment as so many movies are. It bleakly confronts the way the legacy of the holocaust in Germany and the alienation of modern capitalism have turned people into soulless machines: love is impossible, a real life of honest emotion becomes unlivable. The main character, Elvira Weishaupt, is a lonely, forgotten soul who is kicked around and ignored by the rest of the world; what gives her life meaning is that she once loved someone passionately enough to change her entire life and identity for him, which, nonetheless, did not make any difference at all. Fassbinder mourns, in this film, the violent mysterious deaths of two previous lovers, El Hedi Ben Salem and Armin Meier; he bears witness to the crushing collapse of the utopian dreams of free love and personal liberation that marked the 1960's. This is one of Fassbinder's most intellectual films (Schopenhauer, Kafka and Sartre are all explicitly referenced) but it's also one of his most human and heartfelt, using great music (Mahler, Roxy Music, Connie Francis) to express the bittersweet longings of the main character. This is a nihilist statement that can actually make people appreciate life -- Utopia is what we all make of it, and everyone is an "outsider" in one way or another.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary late Fassbinder film April 19 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Despite the flaws of '13 Moons,' I still believe that this is one of Fassbinder's best films. Part of that conclusion is of course the understanding that every Fassbinder film has flaws. But I judge films on how effective they were in telling a story and how effective they are in making me think. And this film still has a strong impression on me 10 years after seeing it last. For me, the film is best understood during the skyscraper sequence. We have an unknown character peeping through a keyhole in an abandoned office tower and laughing hysterically. That of course, is Fassbinder's little jab at the audience, as we are all voyeurs. Later, we see an executive playing a kind of "movieokie" / imitation of a Jerry Lewis sequence on television. A total carbon copy of a preexisting text, done in the twisted humorous style that only Fassbinder can deliver. We later see that same executive subject himself to a staged kidnapping drill by his security staff, which places the film in historical context as left-wing terrorists attacked CEO's during the 1970's. And finally, we see a man hang himself in an abandoned suite. It is over the top, unrealistic, and I'm sure it is torture for most viewers (if they weren't driven out by the early slaughterhouse scene), but it is still a masterpiece as it is a compelling example of post-modernism in the true sense. If you are a student of New Wave or Avant Garde cinema, 13 Moons is a must-see. I can't convince you that it is a masterpiece. You just have to see it for yourself. It ranks with "The American Soldier," "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant," "Love is Colder than Death," "Chinese Roulette," and "Fox and his Friends," as Fassbinder's best works. If you want to see the darkest work of art to come of out West Germany in the late 1970's, this is it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fassbinder's most complex work... Sept. 22 2007
By Grigory's Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I initally saw this in a really poor VHS transfer from New Yorker Video, but obviously, the DVD is much better. This, along with Berlin Alexanderplatz, are my favorites of Fassbinder's work. There is such a strange, haunting quality to this film, from the early strains of Mahler's 5th symphony, 4th movement at the beginning (which is one of the most majestic pieces ever recorded, and one of my favorite symphonies that moves me to tears at times) that haunts the film to the very end. Even though it's about a transgender woman being jilted by her lover (the man she got the sex change for), her struggle for love is universal, which is why you can identify with it so strongly. It's incredibly sad, yet funny in spots too (much like life). It's one of Fassbinder's most complex films (which is saying something), and certainly one of his top 5 films. He made over 40 features in a 13 year time span (including miniseries and shorts), and he would probably be still going today if he didn't die of a drug overdose. I miss the ambition and the deep artistry of Rainer, whose films still haunt me (and us) today.

The DVD has some excellent interviews with those who worked on this film and with Rainer on many occasions. They talk about him with great feeling as if he were still alive today (in many ways, he is, as his work lives on). But you can skip Richard Linklater's tedious, self indulgent, and completely unrehearsed introduction. Linklater says a few interesting things, but he ends up coming across like a film professor who doesn't really understand Fassbinder's film except from an academic, overly intellectual point of view, and he talks about himself WAY too much.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A bleak and crude vision of the multiple facets of love! March 14 2006
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Just only a very few filmmakers in cinema ' s story have had the supreme virtue of treat th human being with such load of affection, respect and indulgency no matter the circumstances of religious, social, racial or psychological orders we talk.

Fassbinder literally embraced and loved the human being, and he dared to present many unsaid realities of universal repercussions. This awful and penetrating movie deals around a sex change of a man who tries to please his male lover, and then to be abandoned and deal with this stigma against the world.

An awful and incisive film which demands all your possible attention. It is not an easy going picture which anticipated itself by far to many actual issues.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Going Bi-theme Oct. 18 2009
By Michael Kerjman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It is a story of a semi-orphaned bi-sexual boy having a daughter fathered just to "change gender" in Morocco to unsuccessfully please a co-student-millionaire with dare consequences for a male in a woman body - and vice versa.

Given the time of producing, legal grounds for such metamorphosis are unclear even nowadays.

It is a third movie of a three DVD Fassbinder Foundation set (firs two are "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" and Fox and His Friends).


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