Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Michael Fengler
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 2.0

Draughtsman Herr R. snaps one day, killing his wife, a neighbor and his son before committing suicide in Fassbinder's critique of the monotony of modern living and the toll it takes on the human psyche. Although you can see the components that go into his moment of lunacy (or lucidity, depending on your outlook) - lack of friends, child struggling in school, sometimes strained relationship with wife, etc. - Fassbinder, like Michael Haneke in The Seventh Continent sticks only to surface details, avoiding inner issues or psychological problems, which have to be major contributing factors. Still, the way the main character's life is recorded does invoke a kind-of viewer frustration, and as someone that had a similar job working in an insurance office and doing the routine: working long hours, getting home late, getting to bed early, going in early, etc. etc. ... let me just say that it does get to you (luckily, I suppressed my urges to kill).