Rainer Werner Fassbinder (31 May 1945 – 10 June 1982) was a (West) German film director, screenwriter, dramatist and actor. A premier representative of the New German Cinema, Fassbinder distilled elements of his sources — Brechtian theatrics, Artaud, the Hollywood melodramas, classical narrative, and a gay sensibility.
He maintained a frenetic pace in film-making. In a professional career that lasted less than fifteen years, Fassbinder completed 35 feature length films; two television film series; three short films; four video productions; twenty-four stage plays and four radio plays; and 36 acting roles in his own and others’ films. He also worked as an actor (film and theater), author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager.
Underlying Fassbinder's work was a strong provocative current. His phenomenal creative energy when working were in violent contrast with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, as well as being its central figure. He had tortured personal relationships with the actors and technicians around him who formed a surrogate family. However, his pictures demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social outsiders and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeois society and the larger limitations of humanity.