Video Review

In a Year of 13 Moons

MPAA Rating: Unrated

Details Movie Rated: Unrated; Genres: Drama, Foreign Language; With: Ingrid Caven and Volker Spengler

Here's a dilemma that could only happen in the late 20th century: A homely butcher named Erwin (Volker Spengler) impulsively undergoes a sex-change operation to win the man of his dreams, only to be dropped after the deed is done. Writer-director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's treatment of Erwin's identity crisis mixes postmodern satire and humor with Douglas Sirk-style pathos. Holding it all together is Spengler's performance, which reaches beyond camp to the realm of tragedy. New to video, In a Year of 13 Moons is a must-see, though the squeamish should be warned: Spengler's soliloquy at a meat factory, surrounded by slaughtered cattle, is disquieting, to say the least. B+

Originally posted May 26, 1995 Published in issue #276 May 26, 1995 Order article reprints

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