Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder was an enfant terrible of 1970s German cinema who cranked out three to four feature films a year, including The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) and Querelle (1982). Fassbinder studied acting in Munich and got involved in avant-garde theater, then began making movies in the mid-1960s. Before he died from a drug overdose at the age of 37, Fassbinder made 40 feature films, many of them furiously unconventional; Fassbinder was an avowed Marxist and homosexual, and his confrontational approach to cinema earned him a reputation as the Jean-Luc Godard of Germany during the 1970s. Critics called him obnoxious and heavy-handed, but Fassbinder was clearly one of Germany's major filmmakers by the time of his death, if for no other reason than the sheer volume of his work. In addition to writing and directing all those movies, he wrote 24 plays, produced two television series and often acted in films of his own and others. His films include The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), The Station Master's Wife (1977) and Lola (1981).