Bavarian "Bande à part" is such an obvious students' fascination towards contemporary French cinema of the decade, falling incongruously behind and standing solely as a showcase of Fassbinder's early avant-guards. As such it is gutsier but less refined than "Katzelmacher", seeming like a set of emotion-less sequences but eager to overstate each and every one.
He was 23 when he made this? The filmmaking is eager, deft, and evidently equipped with stage knowledge. The frame constantly contains tableaux that emphasize the body/actor. The sets look sparse and homemade but convincing. Sometimes the music enhances, sometimes it grates. The camera celebrates Ulli Lommel quite well. Le samouraï vibes indeed.
Fassbinder's first film is by no means his best, yet it may just be the purest example of his philosophy on what cinema can and should be. He doesn't believe in fast cuts or close-ups, at least not at the start of his career, but rather long shots and slow drawn out sequences. This leaves room for contemplation and reflection, and the script, apparently written on the fly, also gives space to breathe and just indulge