Letter: Film-maker exemplaire

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The Independent Online
I MUST take issue with David Thomson's virtual writing-off of Fassbinder (Film Studies, Culture, 17 January). To concentrate on Fassbinder's admittedly appalling lifestyle, and to see him primarily as a product of the 1970s, is to overlook the excellence of many of his films and the lessons they hold for young British film-makers today.

In an industry characterised by inflated budgets, a few market-approved genres and the rewriting of scripts until the life is crushed out of them, Fassbinder's films offer three lessons: how to produce imaginative work on a really low budget; how to reinvigorate existing genres; and how to engage politically with one's own society. Such lessons are sorely needed in current British film-making.

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