Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie

In a Year of 13 Moons is a movie written and directed by Ali Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film’s lead actor is Volker Spengler. In the film, the lead actor stars as

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Elvira. The film describes Elvira’s last few days on earth. Elvira is a transsexual woman previously known as Erwin. At the start of the film, the woman is assaulted for trying to solicit sex in a park. After being beaten, she goes home and finds her longtime lover Christoph. Christoph had not been home for six weeks. Instead of Christoph consoling her for her beatings, he vocally and physically mistreats her.

Christoph tells her that he was preparing to leave home forever. Elvira desperately tries to stop him from leaving, leading to a fight. Her pal Zora later rescues her. Thereafter, the two friends are seen visiting an abattoir and an orphanage where Elvira was raised up. There, she meets with her relatives and her former boyfriend, Anton Saitz. Throughout the film, Elvira tries to get along with the repercussions of her choice to transform her sex. The article below focuses on correlations on works of art that inspired choices made in the film and how the movie was affected by the culture of the time. Similarly, the article illustrates how the film has influenced contemporary filmmaking.

Correlations to works of art that inspired choices made in the film

In the film, it is evidence that a number of works of art inspired the director’s choices during the film making process. Through the film, the director illustrates correlations among his earlier films, narratives, visual strategies, and sound strategies.

In a Year of 13 Moons, the director is inspired by fascinating abstracts of his early works of art. As such, the film’s narrative has episodic structures. The structures are improved versions of his earlier films, such as Katzelmacher and Martha. The narrative form exhibited In a Year of 13, Moons offers a perfect chance for the director, to sum up, the numerous diverse styles of earlier works because every sequence agrees with a dissimilar stylistic angle.

The highly stylized dramatic and Brecht-inspired methods of his first works inspired the choices made in In a Year of 13 Moons. The techniques enable the director to utilize the pronounced block-like structure of scenes in the film. The repeated use of lengthy monologues and ritualistic recitals used in the previous films is evidenced In a Year of 13 Moons movie. The Niklashausen Journey, earlier film, focuses on Sister Gudrun’s suicide. The film influences the choices made by the director in illustrating the nature of Elvira’s story. Like in a number of his works of art, Fassbinder uses his plot to overstate his key themes and to distance the viewers from the action. That detachment is evidence from the styles witnessed in the murder scene, and visceral realism witnessed at the abattoir scene.

Equally, earlier works of art such as myths and fairy tales influenced the film’s decisions. At the start of the film, Elvira reaches home singing kids’ songs. In the songs, she associates herself with the warped Rumpelstiltskin. During a visit to her sister at the orphanage, Elvira is lulled into bed by her pal Zora. To soothe her, Zora sings her a fairy tale. The film also has a amusing allegorical element to the story, which possibly is the earliest form of the narratives. The influence of The Search for a Mysterious Tower in the film choices is also exhibited. In the fairy tale, a young male is illustrated trying to come into terms with his manhood.

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The theme influence is evidenced through Elvira’s depictions in the movie. She is depicted as a woman who feels uncomfortable with her female’s body. In the beginning of the film, she dresses as a female. However, in the end of the film she dresses as a male. Additional link with fairy tales is the myths’ random and unpleasant nature to permits a figurative tactic for kids to kill off progressive stages that they have outgrown. In the film, Elvira is depicted in such an intermediate stage. She has not only outgrown her clothes, but also changed her gender.

Other works of art that influence the decisions made in the film are Shakespeare’s plays. The plays are The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. The movie evokes The Winter’s Tale with its strange combination of disaster, amusement, fairy tale, and thrilling formal experimentation. Anatomically the film is correlated with The Tempest. In both works of art, a number of the crucial actions occurred in the past and later build up to the climax. As such, Elvira’s story ends just like Shakespeare characters’ lives ended.

How culture of the time affected the film

In a Year of 13 Moons was produced in the late 1970s. After watching the film, the viewer will realize that the culture of the time affected the film in a number of ways. Unlike it is today, transgender rights in the 1970s were limited. During the World War II, gay and transgender persons were discriminated and even persecuted in Germany. In the 1950s, the laws illegalizing transgender activities were repealed. Although Germany had illegalized decriminalization of transgender individuals in the 1970s, it should be noted that stigmatization existed until the late 1980s.

In the 1970s, transgender faced huge stigmatization unlike it is today. As such, they were considered as outsiders. In the gay community, the transgender could not fit in easily because they had ambiguous genitals. Similarly, straight people could not classify the transgender as female or male owing to their ambiguous genitals. The above culture influenced the production of In a Year of 13 Moons. At the beginning of the film, Elvira is assaulted by gay men in a park. She is beaten up after soliciting for sex. The gay men see her as an outsider because she had reconstructed her genitalia. In another scene, Elvira is also beaten up by Christoph.

During the beating, Christoph informs her that he did not love her because she is a man. Concerning the film’s illustrations, it is evidence that social principles, ethics, and community places great emphasis on individuals’ sexual orientation. Even though in modern years the gender-based prejudice that evaluates the dealings of a specific individual with respect to their sex has decreased, it should be noted that people are still subjected to some standards based on their sexual orientations.

Similarly, during the 1970s the German culture witnessed an increase in feminist issues. After the end of the World War II, more women began to stir up for social change. The rise of feminism influenced In a Year of 13 Moons in a number of ways. In the film, Elvira’s husband beats her severally. In these depictions, the film’s writer tries to bring into the light the vulnerability of women. Through this, the film’s director tries to condone the act.

How the film influenced contemporary filmmaking

In a Year of 13 Moons and a number of other German films produced in the 1970s founded the New German Cinema. The movie was so significant that it marked the end of French New Wave that had started in the 1960s. Before the 1970s, the German film industry was in a destitute situation. The World War II and the Nazis regime had forced a number of renowned German filmmakers into exile. After the release of the film, the cinema viewers were amazed by the films artistic impression.

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The film was so popular that it attracted millions of viewers outside Germany. Through this, the reputation of the German films in the international market was enhanced. Therefore, following the release of the film other German filmmakers were motivated. As such, In a Year of 13 Moons cost of production was the least compared to other movies of its caliber. From then on, German filmmakers realized that a quality and captivating film could be produced with limited resources.

After the success of In a Year of 13 Moons and other German movies in the late seventies, the German film industry was revolutionized. With enhanced reputation, more investors were willing to invest in the film industry changing how the contemporary filmmaking was being undertaken at the time. As such, the industry received a number of incentives from the government and television owners. With the funding, Fassbinder and other top youthful filmmakers and screenwriters came up with an autonomous distribution corporation.

Through the company, a new age group of German filmmakers were able to compete with other international filmmakers for the first time in the international market. Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that In a Year of 13 Moons transformed the German film industry by setting the stage for the New German Cinema.

After the successful release of the film in the year 1978, the film director became so famous that he attracted the attention of other leading film directors in the country. Among the film directors who became interested in Fassbinder’s works were Wender and Hezog. The three filmmakers produced films with similar styles and themes. The filmmakers later shared their crew and technical advisors. By working together, they were able to finance the production of a number of successful films. Similarly, the group were able to distribute thousands of their films to their views. Therefore, it can be argued that In a Year of 13 Moons influenced contemporary filmmaking because its success brought together a number of filmmakers.

Similarly, the film influenced the production of other similar movies such as The Third Generation and Querelle. The films shared common themes and styles with In a Year of 13 Moons. The three movies lead characters are women who struggle to come into terms with the society demands. Through this, it is evidence that the success of In a Year of 13 Moons influenced the production of the two films and other films produced in the early 1980s.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 31). Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/art-in-fassbinders-in-a-year-of-13-moons-movie/

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"Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie." StudyCorgi, 31 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/art-in-fassbinders-in-a-year-of-13-moons-movie/.

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StudyCorgi. "Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie." December 31, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/art-in-fassbinders-in-a-year-of-13-moons-movie/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie." December 31, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/art-in-fassbinders-in-a-year-of-13-moons-movie/.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Art in Fassbinder’s “In a Year of 13 Moons” Movie'. 31 December.

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