In a Year of 13 Moons

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Year Released: 1978
Rating: 3.0

Has the same familiar Fassbinder set-up: loner/outcast is mistreated with no let up for an extended period until he/she kills him/herself, then roll credits. Yet ... there's more here, more than those other films (Fox and His Friends, Martha): a complex need for dignity and for love. It follows that downward trajectory obviously enough, but in between there's also a lot of true human depth and feeling, and a sense of personal pain (one of the director's former lovers killed himself) - when the main character finally encounters the man he underwent a sex-change operation for, the man (who has since become a wealthy industrialist) is less of a monster than you'd expect him to be, but the outcome is still tragic. Contains no less than four powerhouse sequences: the slaughterhouse scene, the scene with the man who can't stop watching the top floor of the building, the scene where the main character has a drink with a man about to commit suicide and the infamous corporate 'dance number' inspired by a Martin and Lewis movie.