The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Ingrid Caven Day


‘In Europe, Ingrid Caven is considered the most stylish chanteuse to have graced the cabaret stage since Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. With her fiery red hair, painted face and crow black mascara, the sultry German singer recaptures the aura of sophisticated seediness that flavored the prewar German cabaret scene.

‘But as Caven made her entrance at the Ballroom in Manhattan during her American debut, which ends Sunday, it was the comic in her that was at work. While Tchaikovsky was being played by the singer’s backup quartet, Caven tripped in her tightly fitted Yves St. Laurent black satin gown and sent a music stand crashing onto the stage. Just as the fallen diva seemed on the verge of utter humiliation, she tossed back her hair, picked up the microphone and launched into a collection of songs that ranged from the raunchy to the sublime. A couple of songs passed before the audience began to realize the fall was a stage device.

‘A master of a thousand voices and moods, Caven says she likes to role play during her performances. Her body, she says, is like a medium, visited by the countless women that make up her stage persona.

‘“I am a mask,” she says. “I am transparent. I like to let these different women pass through me when I’m on stage.”

‘Virtually unknown in the United States, Caven first gained attention as an actress in the films of the late German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whom she married for a brief period in the early 1970s. Three of the songs that Caven performs were penned for her by Fassbinder.

‘Fassbinder married Caven in 1970. It seems surprising that a filmmaker so critical of bourgeois institutions should marry at all. Caven explains that, despite his politics, Fassbinder came from a ‘middle-class, intellectual family’, and had no desire to break with his background. He played the traditional husband and could be intensely jealous. On the other hand, their social life was wild, with celebrations every day. She says he was funny, with a passion for life.

‘By 1972 the marriage was over. Fassbinder’s working methods, his jealousy of Caven’s independent career (she was a charismatic chanteuse even then), and drugs all contributed to its breakdown. Afterwards they got on better than ever, and he pleaded with her to remarry.

‘Caven also delivers an erotic rendition of “Ave Maria” and sings a duet with the voice of Elvis Presley hanging in the theater like a stage ghost. The classically trained singer demonstrates how remarkable an instrument her voice is with such classics as Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” and Franz Shubert’s “Serenade,” a song she first sang as a little girl with her father.

‘“I first begin singing as a child,” she says in uncertain English, “and I felt always pleasure. If I can’t have that physical sensation when I’m on stage, I don’t want to sing.”

‘Does she still feel like a child when she performs? “Oh, no,” she insists. “I am no more a child, not at all.”’ — Column Lynch





Ingrid Caven Website
Ingrid Caven @ IMDb
Ingrid Caven: Music and Voice
Ingrid Caven @ Facebook
«Avec Fassbinder, une estime mutuelle mais aussi des bagarres»
No morals without style



Ingrid Caven 1978 / 2001

Chambre 1050

“Each man kills the things he loves”

Ingrid Caven – Cette chose molle (1980)




Die Zeit: Mrs. Fassbinder…

Ingrid Caven: Oh no, nonsense, there’s no need to call me that. Rainer wanted me to keep his name for sentimental reasons. It had to do with the fact that after the divorce we went on holiday together so often. It was easier for us if we had the same name. And so that’s still my official name.

When did you meet Rainer Werner Fassbinder for the first time?

In 1967 I went to see a play staged by Peer Raben, a collage of various Antigone texts. Fassbinder, who launched into making action theatre in the same year, was there too. And I noticed him looking at me with this strange concentration. I think Rainer was on the lookout for people. With Hanna Schygulla he also knew very early on and very clearly that she would be his leading actress. And I was, you might say, the woman for his private life.

People always say that Fassbinder used people. How did you fare?

I’d just come out of therapy and was trying to deal with a few problems I might have had with sadomasochistic tendencies. So I was not in any danger of getting crushed under his thumb. Perhaps that was precisely what interested him. Aside from that my sister, the opera singer Trudeliese Schmidt and I grew up in a very musical household. I had the opportunity to develop my own ideas about music and singing at quite a young age. So I already had a sensitivity for style that I could bring in. And at first he was just my best friend. It was only with time that I realised how quiet he was with other people, telling them almost nothing about himself.

Did he actually propose to you?

Oh it was so touching. He’d always go to the men’s public toilets for sex and then we’d go out on the town. One evening we ended up sleeping together. I thought it was wonderful, but there was nothing more to it. I’d simply had sex with a homosexual. But Rainer was there in the morning in a white shirt. And he just came out with it: “We have to get married.” Then he wouldn’t stop going on about the marriage thing. I don’t know why I eventually said yes. I think I just had the feeling that it would be fun.

Did you ever talk to Fassbinder about his sexual relations with women and men?

It was the main thing we talked about in those days. Which is why there was no need to discuss it first. I had sex with women too, it was pretty hard not to in those days. Just as nobody wanted only to be gay. And this open attitude to sex, to eroticism, it overflowed into the work. Rainer had a very sharp and objective eye for sexual power relations, whores, prostitution. Perhaps because he and Udo Kier went on the game together so young. Rainer used to say the rituals and middle-class taboos were as present in this milieu as anywhere else. He found the principle of pimping in bourgeois society and brought it into his films.

How did the “Fassbinder group” get along?

It was basically Fassbinder, Peer Raben and myself who would discuss everything and thrash things out. Peer, who was involved at every level as producer, composer and grey eminence, was the most important and most influential co-worker. The so-called Fassbinder group was never a group that had proper discussions.

What would your discussions be about?

About music and books, which we’d almost always read together during this period. I brought Rainer into contact with all of Freud’s writings for example, also with Hans Kilian’s “Das enteignete Bewusstsein” (the expropriated consciousness). This book became hugely important for him. Kilian was part of the citizens’ rights movement of the Humanist Union, with Mitscherlich, Habermas and others, who were extremely interesting for us politically, because in Adenauer’s Christian-conservative Germany, they created an oppositional public sphere. In “Martha” Margit Carstensen sits in her wheelchair holding “Das Enteignete Bewusstsein”. And this book played a huge role for us because it was the common ground for our shared Utopian dreams.

In 1981, Fassbinder said that of all the many people who had once lined up “to effect the realisable Utopia” only he, Peer Raben and you remained. What did this Utopia look like?

It was about fundamental structural changes in feeling and thinking. Even if we didn’t manage to pull it off. You know, I still think today that we failed to communicate something vital to the generation that followed us. Back then, in the sixties and seventies, there was a vehement need for all artists to confront the German past and also to intervene in everyday history. This attracted a lot of attention for us personally and for our own needs. And it forced us to confront power relations in love and in life. All this was essential for our survival as artists in post-war German society. At the same time it was always clear that if we wanted to analyse something, perhaps even destroy it, this could not happen at the cost of style. What remains of us is that we were wild and tempestuous and that somehow everything was rock ‘n’ roll. It was an enormously aggressive force which expressed itself through a style. Style and form – everything rested on this. No style without morals, no morals without style. But this also affects the way you live your life. It soon becomes clear that there’s no separation of artistic work and life.

How did this style come about?

Although all Fassbinder films are also German mood paintings, although they always come from everyday histories, they are highly artificial constructs. Not only on a visual level. Just think of the way Brigitte Mira talks or the way Margit Carstensen and Hanna Schygulla move. Fassbinder consciously used every means at his disposal to prevent things feeling realistic. For example, he used bits of Irm Hermann’s everyday conversations or Günther Kaufmann’s sayings, but he’d have other people say them, and these two were given other things to say. And to achieve this artificiality he had to steer totally clear of all psychological permeation of the dialogues by the actors.

Did you have a say in the content of the films?

Sometimes. For example when he was preparing “Effi Briest”, he was also directing in Bremen, where we were living in the Park Hotel. Every evening we’d play Ludo, and Rainer would go crazy if he lost. So crazy that his face would go bright red and he’d have to take a shower. We both had a copy of “Effi Briest” to hand and we’d underline the bits we thought were important. At the end we compared passages and swapped copies. Sometimes huge arguments would break out. I’m not implying that I would regularly help write the scripts. But we did always talk about them.

Fassbinder’s legacy is being run today by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation. If one inquires after you there, one is met with a stony silence.

Because Peer Raben and I knew how Juliane Lorenz, the head of the foundation, falsified and altered Rainer’s story. She fabricated a marriage with Rainer, which supposedly took place in Germany and then in Florida. When she was asked to give proof of this, she said that she’d thrown the marriage certificate out of the car window in joyful abandon.

What happened after Fassbinder’s death?

Fassbinder’s mother Lilo inherited the money and paid his father out. She asked Peer Raben and myself to help her to start a foundation in Munich to support artists in need. Peer Raben was too busy with his work, and I didn’t want to appear just as this Fassbinder creature, and I able to do this abroad. The last thing I wanted was to adopt the role of the widow.

So it was taken on by Juliane Lorenz.

In the years immediately following his death, there was no mention of Rainer having been married or having had a partner. No one said anything about it. Juliane Lorenz did a good job in the last years, as Fassbinder’s editor, and as a girl for everything like several other people. She only resurfaced when the question arose of who would inherit when the mother died. Then suddenly the story emerged about her alleged marriage. She would also tell his mother that Rainer was never really gay, that he didn’t take drugs and that actually he’d got quite domesticated by the end.

A widow soap.

Juliane Lorenz was involved in another inheritance story after Rainer’s death. When the actor and “Querelle” producer Dieter Schidor died, she tried to convince me and other people who worked with Fassbinder to give false statements. She wanted us to testify that she’d been engaged to Schidor. She ended up in court with Shidor’s parents, fighting over the inheritance. And Juliane Lorenz lost the case.

What repercussions does this have for the Fassbinder legacy?

I and many others believe Juliane Lorenz is morally unsuited to manage his legacy, not only because she has constructed the whole thing on a massive lie. She has shut out almost all the people who worked most closely with Fassbinder, such as Peter Berling for example, Isolde Barth, Renate Leiffer, Günther Kaufmann and others. She’s running an utterly fatuous genius cult while the people who formed the real-life background to his work are being defrauded. It is being made clear to institutions that there will be complications with the films if unpopular persons are invited. Steps are being taken to prevent the publication of books containing original manuscripts of song lyrics. It starts with the Fassbinder Foundation homepage. It features the “Kleine Liebe” song, allegedly composed by Fassbinder, who never wrote a note in his life. His name is simply being used here to elbow out the composer Peer Raben, who has the copyrights to this song. There are countless falsifications and half truths, but so many of them are not justiciable. As a result a life is being censored.

And your life too?

Naturally. We all laughed about it at the start . But in the annals of the foundation, I disappeared from Rainer’s life after our divorce in 1972. But I was in closest contact with Rainer for the next fifteen years, right until the end, with perhaps two breaks. Right up to the end we celebrated his birthday together, and we even shared a flat in Paris until the end of the seventies.

Why did you never fight your cause?

I found it all too tawdry.

Why are you talking about it now?

I am increasingly questioned by journalists about these half truths and lies. Especially since Peer Raben’s death in January. He was the most important of all the people working with Fassbinder, his closest friend, a brother, he was very active as a moral and psychological support right up to the time when drugs got the upper hand on Fassbinder. But the foundation refused to let him have a say in things. It also has to do with the early theatre days when Fassbinder and Peer Raben worked closely and wrote plays together. These beginnings were so important, Peer was head of production on many occasions and paid off huge tax debts for Fassbinder. All of these rights were gradually taken away from him by the Fassbinder Foundation in a court case because no proper contracts had been signed at the time. Eventually Peer ran out of the energy and financial means to fight his case in the courts. And yet he desperately needed these royalties. A few weeks after the final court case, he suffered a stroke which left him wheelchair bound.

Some people would say: the main thing is that the Foundation takes care of the films.

Of course, it’s a huge apparatus which operates on an international level, and it organises the screening and the evaluation of the films. But what it’s dealing with is an immensely complex, giant oeuvre, which exists thanks to the immense artistic productivity of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. And it would have been impossible to realise without his fellow combatants and fellow travellers. Fassbinder films were watched by people with a certain intellectual preparation. And this audience has the right to be educated about this time in a proper and nuanced manner. These things cannot be lost. One cannot just erase Peer Raben. And this goes for myself and many others too.

What are you concerned about?

About the way we deal with the man who is perhaps still regarded internationally as Germany’s most important director. This is about how people felt at a particular time, about artists who dared to do something. About people who worked on this art day and night. With a sense of responsibility. This is not some sentimental nonsense. I do not stand to benefit from opening my mouth now. But I can afford to do it. I just have to find the time.

When did you see Fassbinder for the last time?

A few days before his death, I drove down to Munich again. Rainer’s room was utterly disgusting. It was a pigsty. It was so dreadful. Ashtrays, cigarette ash and old newspapers everywhere. Whiskey bottles, everything you could imagine lying around. It stunk, and his bed was so filthy that I didn’t want to sit down on it, it was that bad. He was as possessive as ever. He called out in his drug-crazed state to my partner Jean-Jacques Schuhl in Paris saying, “Ingrid must stay with me.” Then I talked to his mother, about whether we should do something, but it was all so futile.

How did the Fassbinder time change you?

I benefited quite considerably from it, from this energy, this power, which was also a way of seeing people, a moral position. The belief that every human being has poetic potential is still so strong in me today, that it doesn’t even matter to me whether this potential can be realised or not.

What do you think Fassbinder would be doing today if he was still alive?

I think he would have continued to go further with the world. I don’t know if he’d still be making films. He’d certainly have tried to do something that involved pleasure in thinking, feeling, analysing. A life without artistic work would certainly not have interested him.


21 of Ingrid Caven’s 64 roles

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Love Is Colder Than Death (1969)
‘Fassbinder’s first is an exercise in the value of cold style… this is the kind of film that anyone with a DSLR could make today, if only they knew how. Ultimately little more than a harbinger drunk on the french new wave, but essential viewing for anyone who doesn’t think they have the tools necessary to make it happen.’ — David Ehrlich

the entirety


Rainer Werner Fassbinder Gods of the Plague (1970)
‘Having acted opposite Fassbinder in Volker Schlondörff’s Baal, Von Trotta was next directed by him for the first time in a bleak noir tale, showcased as a slattern who tumbles for fresh-out-of-prison Harry Baer, though he’s still hung up on old flame Hanna Schygulla (reprising her role from this film’s predecessor Love is Colder than Death). Günther Kaufmann, the writer/director’s real-life lover, makes his feature debut; Fassbinder was soon to marry Ingrid Caven, who plays Magdalena.’ — Quad Cinema



Michael Fengle Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1977)
‘In 2003 on a interview for Village Voice Hanna Schygulla claimed that this film was completely done by director Michael Fengler, whereas purported co-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had nothing to do with the actual film. She also claimed that film was almost completely improvised which wasn’t Fassbinder’s way to make movies. Fassbinder still is credited as director and writer on the actual film and on many official sources, including Fassbinder Foundation’s website. This fact has been confirmed by Michael Fengler himself in the 2008 documentation Gegenschuss – Aufbruch der Filmemacher (2008). He reported, that Fassbinder was involved neither in writing nor in directing of the movie and has visited the movie set at most twice during shooting.’ — IMDb



R. W. Fassbinder Beware Of A Holy Whore (1971)
‘An unhappy actress is fired from a film project after making too many demands; we watch her departure in an extended take that Ballhaus shot inside the boat taking her away from the set. I love the blueness of the water and the soft, golden light on Magdalena Montezuma’s face as she drifts further and further away as an aria from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor plays on the soundtrack, before we are abruptly brought back to a scene of the film shoot. Perhaps Fassbinder’s choice of aria, “Il dolce suono,” which depicts the aftermath of Lucia stabbing her husband to death on their wedding night and subsequently fantasizing about marriage to a different man, is applied to Magdalena Montezuma’s farewell scene (trust me, she exhibited tremendous histrionics) by implying that after the bout of madness that destroyed her career opportunity, she can still dream of a brighter future, even if it’s one that probably won’t happen.’ — The Iron Cupcake



Rainer Werner Fassbinder The Merchant Of Four Seasons (1972)
‘Hans Epp (Hans Hirschmüller), ex-foreign legionnaire and ex-cop, works the courtyards with his fruit cart. Much has gone wrong in his life. He never managed to live up to his mother’s expectations, he was not allowed to marry his big love (Ingrid Caven) due to class differences. He drinks and beats his wife (Irm Hermann), who lives at his side without any love and who takes care of the child and the household. One day Hans Epp suffers a heart attack. After recovery he signs on Harry (Klaus Löwitsch), an old comrade from the foreign legion, as his employee. The produce trade begins to bloom. But Hans gets increasingly depressed. He cannot deal with the cold egoism that rules the world and that surrounds him. Even his sister (Hanna Schygulla), the only person who loves him, is unable to diminish the pressure that burdens him. In the presence of his wife, he drinks himself to death in his regular hangout. After the funeral, the widow and Harry get together.’ — The Fassbinder Foundation



Werner Schroeter The Death of Maria Malibran (1972)
‘You might expect a traditional biopic about the musical legend of the title, provided you have no idea what it means to have Werner Schroeter behind the camera and Candy Darling in front of it. One of the most outrageous and challenging films in Schroeter’s oeuvre is this extraordinary treatise on art and expression that uses music from the famed opera singer’s period as well as more modern pieces to show the effect that artistic creation has on the melodrama of real life. There are a few scenes that loosely link to Malibran’s biography, but there is also lots of tableaux and random imagery: imagine Paul Morrissey’s features on a European art house level and you can pretty much surmise the experience here. It’s stunningly beautiful, but only for those already initiated into Schroeter’s world.’ — My Old Addiction

the entirety


Hans Jürgen Syberberg Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King (1972)
‘Reflected in an artificial and bombastically staged illusory world with Wagnerian compositions, glossy and satirical time references, 19th century German figures and traditions are stripped of their mythology and interpreted by the Germany of 1972.’ — Letterboxd

the entirety


Daniel Schmid Tonight or Never (1972)
‘A satire on 19th-century class relations that’s also a veiled commentary on the failure of the 1968 political revolution. Once a year, an aristocratic Austrian family holds a traditional feast at which masters and servants trade places. A troupe of actors are hired to entertain the guests.’ — MUBI



Ulli Lommel The Tenderness of Wolves (1973)
‘Using his status as a police informant to procure his victims, baby-faced, shaven-headed Fritz Haarmann dismembers their bodies after death and sells the flesh to restaurants, dumping the remainder out of sight. The comedy doesn’t blunt the horror of Haarmann’s murders, but it does enable Lommel to implicate the ‘tender wolves’ – the society that makes such crimes possible – without resorting to didacticism or moralizing.’ — Time Out




Jean Eustache Mes Petites Amoureuses (1974)
‘After the success of The Mother and the Whore, Eustache was finally able to make Mes Petites Amoureuses, an equally personal but vastly different film – a portrait of his childhood in the south of France in which every footstep, every gesture, and every visual detail feels as though it’s been drawn directly from the filmmaker’s memory. This is a fantastic and wonderful coming of age story – maybe the best of its kind. Young Martin Loeb plays Daniel, Eustache’s adolescent alter ego, and he figures in every scene of this magnificent movie, which takes a hard look at adolescence and budding adulthood, along with the realities of love and work. Beautifully photographed by the great Nestor Almendros, with Fassbinder regular Ingrid Caven as Daniel’s mother and, in a small role, director Maurice Pialat.’ — Spectacle



Alain Robbe-Grillet Le jeu avec le feu (1975)
Playing With Fire is a complex web of a film. I would say that it definitely influenced David Lynch, Wes Anderson, and many other sophisticated art house auteurs who have proved themselves singular in their filmmaking. Alain Robbe-Grillet took the approach of surrealism, doppelgängers, and actors who portrayed multiple characters to make a film that has the pace of The French Dispatch (2021) while more reminiscent of Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974) by Jacques Rivette.’ — DNA cinephile



Rainer Werner Fassbinder Satan’s Brew (1976)
‘Ingrid Caven came to represent something both scary and desirable in the films of RW Fassbinder; and she is also a woman who is less likely than any other Fassbinder actress to be a victim of the generally oppressive situations the director creates. Or maybe not. In the second scene of Satansbraten, Lisa is revealed as something of a pawn, usable by several men, and her domestic life sees her scratching herself compulsively in the bathroom, in between fixing chunky contemporary tape playing devices. The comedy in this film is coming from strange places, random places, and although it is almost always ridiculous, it is played with an earnest that makes it funny. Just about everyone in the film behaves like a 4 year old at some point, and Caven is especially funny, jumping up and down when angry with Kranz.

‘Caven is so good at playing world-weary, that her apartment, where Kranz irons her underwear (lovingly) while she works on her magnetophone, is generally a relief from the shouting matches elsewhere in the film. Caven is indeed close to sane in terms of the film, only it is her lifestyle and opinions that are profiled as mad – her Marxism and her sexual freedom. In fact, probably the scene that makes me laugh the most in Satansbraten is when Caven explains why her tape player isn’t working. The way she talks about the fast forward being jammed, she speaks as if she knows nothing of what she is doing – or better still – is making the greatest science of this trivial device. Her character is so shallow that she is able to provide an alibi for the murdering Kranz, by arguing to all that the murder of Kranz’s middle class mistress was a revolutionary act.’ — Peter Burnett



Daniel Schmid Violanta (1978)
‘Draws on a nineteenth-century Swiss classic that deals with incest, murder, suicide, and ghosts in the very sort of mist-shrouded valley on the Italian border where Daniel Schmid grew up, wandering the halls: of a hotel peopled with its past.’ — MUBI



Rainer Werner Fassbinder Despair (1978)
‘Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s first film in English was brilliantly adapted by Tom Stoppard from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel set in 1930s Berlin.’ — bfi



Rainer Werner Fassbinder In A Year With 13 Moons (1978)
‘This heartrendingly compassionate tragedy from Rainer Werner Fassbinder traces the final days in the life of Elvira (Volker Spengler), a transgender woman spurned by her former lover, as she reaches out desperately for understanding. With infinite empathy for the plight of the dispossessed, Fassbinder crafts a searing statement on both the universal need for love and the human capacity for cruelty.’ — The Criterion Channel



Werner Schroeter Day of the Idiots (1981)
‘Story of a twenty year old who goes into an asylum, which resembles a prison-like building of the 18th century and where the doctors appear to be just as strange as their patients.’ — MUBI



André Téchiné Ma saison préférée (1993)
‘Elderly woman Berthe leaves her house to live with her daughter Emilie. Emilie and her brother Antoine had a falling out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites him for Christmas. Memories will resurface and impact both Berthe’s destiny and the strange relationship between Emilie and Antoine.’ — Letterboxd



Raoul Ruiz Time Regained (1999)
‘Everything goes back to the point of departure, because we constantly return to childhood, to a detail or experience that possesses the signs of a repetition – those cyclical elements which form, ultimately, the substance of the tableau. That’s how I filmed Proustian narration: as a tableau. All these narrations, brief and fleeting, of no importance, end up creating an image without movement. Rather, it is in the Proustian descriptions – particular elements of environment, costume, character – that we can find, if I can put it this way, the action. Shifts, movements, incidents, sidelong details – all of these are in the tableau; while everything that is static, even ecstatic, is in the narrative.’ — Raoul Ruiz



Claire Denis 35 Shots of Rum (2008)
‘Films about families and their complications all too often pierce eardrums with shrieks of dysfunction. Amid the din, Claire Denis’s sublime 35 Shots of Rum stands out all the more for its soothing quiet, conveying the easy, frequently nonverbal intimacy between a widowed father, Lionel, and his university-student daughter, Joséphine. An homage to Yasujiro Ozu’s similarly themed Late Spring (1949), 35 Shots is Denis’s warmest, most radiant work, honoring a family of two’s extreme closeness while suggesting its potential for suffocation. 35 Shots is firmly rooted in place, several scenes unfolding in an apartment building in a run-down section of Paris’s 18th arrondissement, home to Lionel and Joséphine; Gabrielle, an ex of Lionel’s who still aches for him; and Noé, nursing a crush on Joséphine. Dyads align, shift, break, and regroup among the foursome, jealousy simmering during an unforgettable scene at a café, in which Noé cuts in on a sweetly dancing Lionel and Joséphine as the Commodores’ “Night Shift” plays. Nonsexual filial devotion is immediately supplanted by heat and desire. Father and daughter’s comfortable life together will need to end—an inevitability that even Lionel recognizes as necessary, no matter how painful.’ — FACE Foundation



Luca Guadagnino Suspiria (2018)
‘Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria is one of the most bizarre, deeply unsettling, maddening, frustrating, and confusing movies I have ever seen without a shadow of a doubt. It’s a two and a half hour slow burn that makes you feel like you’re losing your mind, similar to how our protagonist Susie feels. It’s a film that is absolutely going to divide millions of moviegoers and I can almost guarantee that everybody who watches it will walk away with a different interpretation of the events that transpired in the story. That, to me, is absolutely beautiful. A truly excellent film should make you want to talk about it to someone as soon as you leave that theatre or as soon as the end credits roll on your favorite streaming website.’ — Caillou Pettis





p.s. Hey. ** Misanthrope, Slut! Sad that you lost Kayla, but David’s growing pains do sound a bit maximalist. The etymology of the word ‘sluggish’ is interesting to think about. 549 is it? You’ve got a shitload of funerals ahead of you. ** David Ehrenstein, I heard that about him and O’Hara. I hosted him at Beyond Baroque back in the day. He was great onstage, but very unfriendly off. ** Dominik, Hi!!! I know, it’s true, about food. What does it mean? I guess I have the excuse of doing the p.s. in the morning when I’ve only had coffee so far. Wow, the party’s in September, and you’re already stressing about it. But, yeah, certain things can turn me into a stress bunny with a very long countdown too. Pukedli! Of course all I can see is the word ‘puked’ in there. I’ll try to add it to my every day conversations. Love explaining to me why I can accidentally drop a bit of food on the floor and reach down to pick it up to find it has ants crawling all over it when I never see ants in my apartment ever at any other time, G. ** Sypha, I don’t remember the ‘James and the Giant …’ movie being very interesting. It had no gumption or something. Oh, right genre, gotcha. As you well know I don’t practice genre and would have no idea how to practice genre even if I decided to try practicing genre. Yes, I guess that’s true, about short fiction collections mostly being republished things gathered. I hardly ever publish anything other than my books, so mine are usually unfinished experiments or discarded bits from novels that I decide to go back and finish or try to. Ha ha, or, I mean yikes, I guess, about the bees. Bees fly in and through and out of my apartment all the time. I kind of like them. They’re like tiny, edgy toy planes or something. I hear you about the dentist. I go to one about once every 20 years and only if I’m in so much pain I can’t think. ** _Black_Acrylic, You’re most welcome, pal. That’s great news about the writing classes! You made some awesome stuff with their help in the past, so my anticipating grows. No pressure though. ** Steve Erickson, Yes, RIP Jaimie Branch. What in the world happened? She was very young. That really sucks. Everyone, Here’s a Steve Erickson italicised news flash: ‘I wrote a new song, “Event Horizon,” using a sample of the sound coming from a black hole that NASA recently released.’ It’s true that that sound was begging for it. ** Okay. I ask you to give whatever you can inside your head as filtered through your eyes and ears to the mighty Ingrid Caven for the next 24 hours, if you so choose. See you tomorrow.


  1. Dominik


    I think that’s a pretty solid excuse. I… don’t have anything like that, haha. Maybe I just like to talk about sweets and weird alphabet pasta.

    Yeah… These kinds of formal events always stress me out. Fancy clothes, small talk with a bunch of strangers, all the “very fun activities,” you know… What tends to stress you out way before it’s actually happening?

    Oh, no… They must be hiding, ready to jump the second you drop something… Love eager to find out where the boys from Wiktor Grodecki’s “Body without Soul” are today, Od.

  2. thomas


    She also appears in this great video by the German band Tocotronic, ‚Im Zweifel für den Zweifel‘
    They tend to play her famous chanson ‚Die großen weißen Vögel‘ after their sets too. Great day, thank you, Thomas in London

  3. David Ehrenstein

    Quite a remarkable performer both on stage abd screen add in clubs. Imet her many years back when I thought about doing a book on RWF. Not really possble. Fassbinder married her and spent the wedding nigh fucking his Best Nab, Gunther Kaufman

  4. _Black_Acrylic

    I’d long known Ingrid Caven through her RWF films but was unaware of her other diverse work. Lots of new discoveries to be found here, so thank you!

  5. Sypha

    Funnily enough recently Justin Isis said he kind of saw me as a fan fiction writer… and not in an insulting way! But I think he’s kind of right, in that many of my books have kind of been in reaction or inspired by things that I like (from literature, comic books, computer games, or pop culture in general), just reinterpreted through my own lens. For whatever reason I’ve always been drawn to genre writing (mainly horror and fantasy), and I think if I would ever try to write Serious Lit I’d probably fall flat on my face ha ha.

    Speaking of Mr. Isis he saw the dentist for the first time in like a decade recently. Naturally there was almost nothing wrong with his teeth. Whereas I go for cleanings twice a year, brush very carefully (and use a dentist recommended top of the line electric toothbrush), try to at least floss some of my teeth (mainly in front), use mouthwash once a day, and despite all that, my teeth are still all fucked up. Well, no one ever said the universe was supposed to make sense… but yes, I do remember how going to the dentist is something you yourself try to avoid.

  6. Bill

    I really have to revisit some of the Fassbinder classics. Been too long. That interview with all the dirt on the foundation is hilarious.

    Sorry to hear Jaimie Branch passed away, wow.


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