Jonathan Pinnock - Writer of Stuff

NO SOONER THE WORD THAN THE FICTION

Connections

Sometimes you don’t need to go looking for stories. All you need to do is rely on your brain to make a few connections.

A couple of evenings ago Mrs P was away for the night and I nearly blew the house up (or at least I thought I nearly did, except that Ed who runs Café Doom and who knows about these things now assures me that I didn’t really, but that doesn’t matter for the purposes of the story). Basically I left one of the gas rings on for a few hours and only noticed the smell just before I turned in for the night. At which point I switched it off, opened the windows wide, turned on the fan and averted disaster.

Thinking about my apparent near-extinction, I remembered the extraordinary ending of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1978 film, “The Marriage of Maria Braun.” Here it is in case you’ve never seen it. Obviously, being the ending of the film, it does contain spoilers. It does also contain Hanna Schygulla, which will be sufficient for most of the male readers of this blog:

Terrific film, I seem to remember. From Fassbinder I then started thinking about 80′s one-hit-wonder Susan Fassbender, of “Twilight Café” fame. Here she is (also featuring the dumbest voiceover EVER by Steve Wright):

Great, isn’t it? I bought that single when it came out, back in 1981. Weirdly, she definitely sounds like she’s singing with a German accent, although it turns out that she was English. No idea why she started calling herself Fassbender.

And then I looked her up on Wikipedia (as you do). And I found out that she died twenty years ago, in 1991, at the age of 32. No more details as to how or why.

Somewhere in that lot there is a story. Isn’t there?

[EDITED TO ADD: I’d forgotten that Rainer Werner Fassbinder also died tragically early at the age of 37.]

4 Comments

  1. Gosh, it’s pretty sad to learn that she died 20 years ago and I didn’t know. She, um, didn’t die in a domestic gas explosion did she?

  2. admin

    January 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I hope not! I’d feel terrible if she had :)

  3. It looks as though she suffered from depression and took her own life. Sad, she was clearly talented (and yes, Twilight Cafe was a guilty past-pleasure of mine too).

  4. admin

    January 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Really? That makes it all the more sad, doesn’t it?

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