“So Much Tenderness” Clip from Fassbinder’s “American Soldier”

Another amazing bit of Fassbinder. It pitches over the top and then stays there for minutes. And it works.


It’s one of the more memorable pieces of cinema out there. A reason it works is due the broad range of emotions it arouses as the scene progresses. The viewer juggles the removed and studied witness with the flailing immersion in grief that tumbles into comedy and beyond, stripping reason away with bewilderment. And the bewilderment is what gets it. Which moves us finally into the realm of real feeling divorced from the story. Because bewilderment is intimately tied with tenderness.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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