The Thinking Machine #62

The Cinematographer’s Signature

Die Ehe der Maria Braun

In their series The Thinking Machine, critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin create a new video essay for Filmkrant every month.

The celebrated cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (1935-2017) formed strong creative partnerships with directors including Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Mike Nichols and Martin Scorsese. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979) marked the end of his successful collaboration with Fassbinder. In it, we find a shot that is truly Ballhaus’ signature. This virtuosic shot also serves to encapsulate the form and meaning of the entire film.