Quick-Thoughts: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends (1975)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Marathon Part V of V

Starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s penis. Yep, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing there, lol. 

Fox and His Friends has the assimilation commentary of Martha but it’s endorsed by the examinations in prejudice of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. Rather than seeing the elitism through sexism, however, Fassbinder expresses it through aporophobia, and rather than seeing the bigotry through racism, Fassbinder expresses it through class. The upper world seems to be as motivated to conform the “uncivilized” into “civilized” as they are to just allowing them to dip back down further into poverty or rather back into poverty, so long as it fits with their agenda — the more power, the greater leniency for self, yadee yada, duh. But, these “uncivilized” roots aren’t necessarily uncivilized as the movie suggests; they really only boil down to cultural norms that are quite fixed based on the economical position or environment you find yourself brought up in, so then why do the norms of the wealthy seem to be pressured with a more authoritarian grip than the lower class? Again, it all comes down to blind trust and glorification for those in positions of victorious finances; it’s the classic tale of money always being our first choice for escapism.

So, it’s fair to say that these financial positions we’re born into sometimes builds and defines our personality that’s set onward, and it’s hard to have it accepted when you’re pressured to assimilate with the culture of the upper class, something looked at as more valuable and ethical. This is what makes patronizing those lower than us such an easy snag to get away with, indulging our superiority complexes to sweeping degrees. Becoming wealthy isn’t the savior of our demise, as well; if anything it puts us through a process of cultural immersion that is shockingly unfulfilling due to the “euphoria of the rich” being a complete hoax, especially in an endless hand of controllers — nobody can ever be on top, even in luxury. In Fox and His Friends, love at first seems to revolve around belief-centeredness in a desire to help those you love, sure, but shouldn’t love also inspire a lack of cultural strictness, and insinuate growth and collaboration with others? Fassbinder doesn’t see that as a reality though, more so as a fallacious dream you should rarely expect out of people born and raised into their own strict, impenetrable realities and ambitions. 

Being born into wealth proves to us that it’s really not a safe-spot of unlimited happiness, and we therefore begin seeking to expand it even more despite our privilege, justifying this ambition with, again, superiority complexes that convince us to destroy those poorer than oneself; it encourages egomania. Being born into the lower classes burdens us with the idea that we need wealth to be happy, and once the few that do finally achieve such a glorified predicament by rising up the pyramid happens, they begin recognizing just like the wealthy that this never-ending ladder is the only thing keeping us hopeful yet counteractively lethal towards others. We naively give our all to new financial lifestyles without actually deciphering the complex realities of what it can deceivingly do to us, and for those who oppositely stick with an inflexible lifestyle forever, they’ll likely develop an unconscious pseudo-intellectual complex powerful enough to turn them into socially protected con-artists against those below or above (Parasite moment) them. 

Although, I guess you can’t knock it till ya try it? Umm… maybe it just is what it is?

Obviously, the title Fox and His Friends is an irony in that Fox never had true friends to begin with. Can you really blame him for it though, living in a world that revolves more around money than it does around love? No wonder friend groups usually function in those born into the same class, to avoid temptation like this when people move up or down, and by people, I mean freshly baked — haha, get it? — victims to be manipulated by the immorally consistent.

Verdict: A-

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Ranked

“Fox and His Friends” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

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