Picture Tree International has acquired international sales rights to Oskar Roehler’s biopic Enfant Terrible capturing the tumultuous life and career of late iconic German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
The legendary filmmaker, who died of a drugs overdose at the age of 37 in June 1982, would have turned 75 on Sunday (May 31). Berlin-based Picture Tree has released an English-language subtitled trailer to coincide with its sales acquisition and to mark the event.
“The film isn’t due out in German cinemas until October but with the producers and German distributor Weltkino, we wanted to commemorate this special date,” said Picture Tree founding chief Andreas Rothbauer.
Weltkino has also launched a German-language version of the trailer for local audiences.
Roehler, who has also courted controversy with films such as his 2010 historical drama Jew Suss: Rise And Fall, focuses on Fassbinder’s life from 1969 to 1982. He has reunited with Jew Suss co-writer Klaus Richter on the screenplay.
Oliver Masucci, whose credits include Dark and Look Who’s Back, stars as Fassbinder, leading an ensemble cast featuring Katja Riemann, Erdal Yildiz as the director’s violent actor lover El Hedi ben Salem, Eva Mattes as actress Brigitte Mira, Antoine Monot Jr as producer and actor Peter Berling, Götz Otto as US actor Jack Palance and Alexander Scheer as Andy Warhol.
The film is lead-produced by Markus Zimmer at Bavaria Filmproduktion in co-production with Stefan Arndt and Uwe Schott at X Filme Creative Pool.
“Bavaria Filmproduktion is proud to present two of the greatest German film icons in one film: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose work remains influential to filmmakers all over the world, and Oskar Roehler, one of the most inventive film and writing talents this country has ever produced,” said Zimmer. “Enfant Terrible is both an homage to and an analysis of a manic film director, visually stunning and full of amazing performances, led by Oliver Masucci.“
Shot in Cologne and Munich over the summer of 2019, the feature had been primed to launch at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, followed by a May theatrical release in Germany before the Covid-19 pandemic stopped festivals and cinemas in their tracks.
Fassbinder had a strong connection with Cannes after his drama Ali: Fear Eats The Soul, starring Mira and Salem, premiered in Competition in 1974 to critical acclaim, catapulting him onto the world stage. Enfant Terrible touches on Fassbinder’s relationship with the festival, which also premiered his 1978 drama Despair to a less rapturous reception.
It remains to be seen whether the feature makes it onto Cannes’ special 2020 Official Selection, which will be announced on June 3.
In the meantime, Rothbauer is gearing up to launch international sales on the title at the upcoming Marché du Film Online, running June 22-26 to replace the cancelled physical event. He says it is unlikely the company will stream the full film on the platform but there will be presentation by the director along with screenings of extracts.