This arch “comedy“ of manners about a blocked, grasping, bilious poet and his lovers and hangers-on raises the existential question of whether a comedy can be a comedy if it does not actually appear to be intended to be funny. As a savage dissection of Fassbinder‘s personal life and foibles, it’s an interesting document, albeit deeply unpleasant in a scabrous Andy Milligan-esque kind of way. But funny? Barely for a second. I love many Fassbinder films, but as someone who’s not all that deeply invested in his psyche, I found this acid bomb a bit of a chore.