Criterion Reflections – Episode 11 – Volker Schlöndorff’s BAAL

Criterion Reflections is David Blakeslee’s ongoing project to watch all of the films included in the Criterion Collection in chronological order of their original release. Each episode of this second season of the podcast features conversations with a variety of guests offering insights on movies that originally premiered in 1970 and were destined to eventually bear the Criterion imprint. In this episode, David is joined by William Remmers to discuss Volker Schlöndorff’s Baal, starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Margarethe von Trotta, based on a 1919 stage play written by Bertolt Brecht.

Episode Links:

Volker Schlöndorff

Bertolt Brecht


Opening scene of Baal, featuring the vocal styling of Rainer Werner Fassbinder:

David Bowie’s performance as Baal, as directed by Alan Clarke:





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Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections