Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day Screen 7 articles

Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day


Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day Poster
  • As always, the polish of Mr. Fassbinder’s direction is a marvel; none of his 1970s contemporaries ever used zooms to better comic effect. And for a man who found time to make more than 40 features in his 37 years, the fluidity of his camera and blocking is miraculous — particularly in a nearly half-hour wedding-party sequence at the end of Episode 4. For sheer joy per minute of film, there’s nothing playing now that comes close.

  • Seeing Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day now — in a discerning new restoration by ARRI — is a shock. We have all the ingredients here for one of Fassbinder’s savage, grimly comic studies of exploitation among the West German working and middle classes. . . . So it is all the more startling that, in this case, Fassbinder flipped the tables. He gave the characters in Eight Hours all the freedom, satisfaction, and powers of self-determination he would, in his other movies, carefully withhold.

  • Fassbinder examines the fruits of potential revolution as well as the overriding ecosystem that breeds a mindset for change. Fassbinder offers a left-wing vision of conservatives who gradually embrace liberal ethos by coming to see how political stances viscerally affect their livelihoods. . . . Eight Hours Don't Make a Day debuts in America at an imperiled time to remind audiences what real political filmmaking is.

  • Speaking not only as a Fassbinder fan but as someone who recently served as a representative of a unionized work force locked in a brutal struggle with management, I found Fassbinder’s call for solidarity, however sanguine, an absolute tonic. . . . The eight hours . . . untether us, as all great art does, from any linear sense of time. They are a portal to another side of a pessimistic genius—and to another idea of what our wrecked labor practices could have been, and maybe still could be.

  • It’s one of Fassbinder’s most unusual and self-revealing projects, and it defies political shibboleths of the artistic milieu of the time. . . . With grand cinematic flourishes—a gyrating camera on a factory floor and at a café table, rapturously colorful visions of romance, and hair-trigger comedy of pratfalls and narrow escapes—Fassbinder exalts the exploits of the hidden heroes of daily life.

  • Commissioned by the channel Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), it was envisioned by its producers as an eight-episode working-class drama focusing on themes of civic progress. However, against their expectations for a socialist-realist portrait of Cologne, Fassbinder delivered a brilliantly layered chamber drama about an eccentric family and their economic and cultural environment, which functions as both trenchant social critique and populist entertainment.

  • To do justice to Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day in this space would be impossible, so it will have to suffice to say that its emergence represents nothing less than the discovery of a vital missing link in the director’s filmography, one that may represent Fassbinder's clearest vision of an achievably, incrementally better world.

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