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Veronika Voss

Director(s): Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Theatrical Release: 1982

Cast: Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Annemarie Duringer, Doris Schade

Genre(s): Drama, psychological, Criterion Collection

Countries: Germany (East/West)


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Running Time: 105m.

Originally Die Sehnsucht de Veronika Voss, this Rainer Werner Fassbinder spin on Sunset Boulevard stars Rosel Zech as film actress Veronika Voss. Once the toast of Germany, Veronika had allegedly been an intimate of Joseph Gobbels. But the Third Reich is dead...and Veronika may as well be. Playing to an increasingly diminishing fan following, Veronika turns to drugs to cushion her against the cruelties of life. Her self-destruction is accelerated by her "Doctor Feelgood" Annemaire Duringer, who plys Veronika with morphine in order to gain control of the actress's money and property. Well-meaning sportswriter Hilmar Thate tries to save Veronika from herself, sacrificing his own personal happiness — and the life of his girlfriend Cornelia Froeboess — in the process. Allegedly an amalgam of several true stories, Veronika Voss is the last of Fassbinder's "postwar trilogy" (the first two were The Marriage of Maria Braun and Lola). — Hal Erickson (allmovie.com)

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Once beloved Third-Reich era starlet Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) lives in obscurity in postwar Munich. Struggling for survival and haunted by past glories, the forgotten star encounters sportswriter Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) in a rain-swept park and intrigues him with her mysterious beauty. As their unlikely relationship develops, Krohn comes to discover the dark secrets behind the faded actresses’ demise. Based on the true story of a World War II UFA star, Veronika Voss is wicked satire disguised as 1950s melodrama.

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Criterion Collection #206 DVD Special Features:

+ New high-definition digital transfer, enhanced for widescreen televisions

+ Audio commentary by Fassbinder scholar Tony Rayns

+ New video conversation with star Rosel Zech and editor Juliane Lorenz

+Dance with Death (Tanz mit dem Tod), a one-hour portrait of UFA Studios star Sybille Schmitz, Fassbinder’s inspiration for the character Veronika Voss

+ New and improved English subtitle translation

+ Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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