In a Year with 13 Moons

35mm print courtesy of the TIFF Film Reference Library

Fassbinder’s second best film (by his own estimation), In a Year With 13 Moons tells the story of a few days in the life of Elvira, a trans woman–formerly Erwin–and her dealings with the past as she comes to terms with her present. Drawing heavily from Hans Christian Andersen’s 1836 The Little Mermaid, Goethe’s Torquato Tasso, and Schopenhauer’s affirmational musings on suicide, 13 Moons is one of the greatest achievements of his absurdly prolific, all-too-short career. Though known for taking on many jobs on his film sets, this film is the only one for which Fassbinder served as director, editor, producer, writer and set designer–making this arguably the closest to pure, uncut Fassbinder the world was ever given. Dark and honest, In A Year with 13 Moons remains a universally relatable, melancholic lament for human closeness, and that elusive thing called love.

Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1978, 35mm, 124 min.

Watch the trailer!