Along with the better-known Hanna Schygulla, Margit Carstensen was a major diva of New German Cinema's most prolific and arguably most important talent, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Tall, slender and seductive, with huge, lovely eyes, Carstensen could crinkle her wide and sensuous mouth into either a delicate sneer or an arc of desperation. She acted in over a dozen Fassbinder films in the 1970s; as with much of his company, she often played people brought down low by social circumstances and their own passions. At other times, though, she played sly and slinky types, sometimes bitchy and hysterical, but almost invariably insinuating.
Carstensen began acting in Fassbinder films in 1970, in both the historical drama "Die Niklashauser Fahrt" and the ensemble piece "The Coffee Shop". Although she worked with directors such as Ulli Lommel in his "M"-like story of a serial killer, "The Tenderness of Wolves" (1973), the mid-70s were Carstensen's peak period with Fassbinder. As with many who acted regularly for the moody genius, she had a signature role. One of Fassbinder's best-remembered films, "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972) was at once a stylized exercise in Brechtian emotional distancing, a campy lesbian catfight and a uniquely potent study of emotional humiliation. Carstensen, donning a series of outlandish wigs and gowns, held the film together with a virtuoso turn in the title role, a sardonic, demanding clothing designer who gets her comeuppance, abasing herself completely when she falls in love with an ambitious model (Schygulla).
Carstensen was for a time thereafter one of Fassbinder's foremost interpreters, continuing in a hyperbolically masochistic vein with her theatrical work in "Martha" (1973), as a self-absorbed but naive woman whose storybook romance goes awry when she is paralyzed and her husband becomes a sadist. Another such role was the homemaker who has a nervous breakdown in "Fear of Fear" (1975), a lesser but typical Fassbinder attack on bourgeois respectability. Similar themes, but a difference performance style, added interest to Fassbinder's odd take on Ibsen's classic play, "A Doll's House". Renamed "Nora Helmer" (1973), the director's TV adaptation maintained a detached, cool tone, mirrored by Carstensen's unusually knowing and slinky work as Nora. Less quiet, indeed deliberately shrill, was her rendition of the nasty gossip Sylvia, always clad in black, in "Frauen in New York" (1977), Fassbinder's TV version of "The Women". She was back to suffering, though, for another comedy, Fassbinder's raunchy and goofball farce, "Satan's Brew" (1976), with Carstensen almost unrecognizable as an abused nerd, complete with bad skin and thick glasses.
Carstensen starred for other directors as well, though a re-teaming with Lommel, "Adolph and Marlene" (1976), with its fictional romance between Hitler and Dietrich, was not well received. She wasn't on Fassbinder's list of favorites by the time of their last collaboration, his landmark 15-1/2 hour miniseries, "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (1980), but her casting as an angel was nonetheless an iconic gesture to her role in his oeuvre. When Fassbinder died, Carstensen's career in films began to slide somewhat. This happened with most of his players: a number of his films, after all, had only been critical or art-house successes. Furthermore, the biggest star of any Fassbinder film was inevitably the director himself. Thus, a versatile player like Carstensen, middle-aged and with a persona often in flux, did not manage quite the international success that the slightly younger Schygulla enjoyed for a couple of years.
Carstensen did, however, act in several films during the 80s, and she performed in other media as well. She worked with Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill in the French-German co-production, "Possession" (1981) and essayed a supporting role in Agnieszka Holland's WWII-set psychological study of Poles and Jews, "Bitter Harvest" (1985). Carstensen's subtle intensity also brought some balance that same year to "Half of Love", an intriguing but muddled semi-erotic thriller in which she played the leading role of an amnesiac doctor who becomes mixed up with criminals. After some years, Carstensen returned to the screen in "Terror 2000" (1992), a low-budget satirical political spoof done up as a slasher horror film. (www.hollywood.com)
Lauren German (Ruth)
The versatile Lauren German will next be seen in YOU ARE HERE, WHAT WE DO IS SECRET and STANDING STILL, all to be released later this year. She has just finished starring in the title role of Elizabeth Harrison’s romantic comedy, LOVE AND MARY, and will next begin principal photography on Eli Roth’s HOSTEL II.
Previously, German co-starred in the remake of the film TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Additional film credits include A WALK TO REMEMBER, starring Mandy Moore and DOWN TO YOU, as well as the independent films RX, PIGGY BANKS, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S RAVE, EVERYTHING IS FINE, DIRECTOR’S CUT and LARCENY.
Television audiences remember German as Rose Miller, the celebrity journalist girlfriend of Hank, who found herself in turmoil over her
ex-boyfriend haunting her from the past, in Paramount Network Television's UPN drama, SEX, LOVE & SECRETS. Additional television credits include the CBS
movie-of-the-week, SURRENDER DOROTHY, the MTV original film, SHOTGUN LOVE DOLLS, and guest starring roles on Showtime’s GOING TO CALIFORNIA and the WB series SEVENTH
HEAVEN and THE LONE RANGER.
On stage, German has starred in the GLACT productions of Peter Pan and Oliver. She trained at the School of Theater and School of Cinema at the University of Southern California, as well as The Actor's Studio and the Orange County High School of the Arts.
German grew up in Orange County, Calif. and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Bruce Glover (The Ex-Husband)
Bruce Glover (father of actor Crispin Glover) is a talented actor with over 45 years in Hollywood. He has taught acting classes since the 1950's and still teaches in Los Angeles when not filming.
Before coming to Hollywood in the 50s and early 60's he performed in 16 Broadway and off Broadway plays and in numerous repertory company productions. He has appeared in well over 100 film and television shows. His characterizations of villains and other oily individuals have been extremely entertaining.
He began with numerous appearances on television shows including "Perry Mason" (1957), "The Rat
Patrol" (1966), "My Favorite Martian" (1963), "The Mod Squad" (1968) and "Hawk" (1966). His performance alongside Putter Smith as one of two gay hit men trying to
eliminate Sean Connery in the James Bond adventure DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971) was equally chilling and humorous. "Mr Kidd" and "Mr Wint"
are two of the most embraced villains of the entire 007 series.
Glover played a redneck thug harassing well meaning teens in the drama BLESS THE BEASTS & CHILDREN (1971). In a departure from his from darker characters, he plays Nicholson's good hearted associate "Duffy" in CHINATOWN (1974). He also portrayed a character leaning on hustler James Coburn to repay his debts in HARD TIMES (1973).
Additionally, Glover appeared in the controversial vigilante style film WALKING TALL (1973), and its sequels WALKING TALL Part II (1975) and FINAL CHAPTER: WALKING TALL (1977). He remained busy through the 1980’s and 90s with more guest spots on TV shows including "T.J. Hooker" (1982), "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979), and "The A-Team" (1983).
More recently, his film appearances have included NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (1995) DIE HARD DRACULA (1998) GHOST WORLD (2001) In 2005 he played a child molesting grandfather in BROKE SKY. In 2006 played three character's Superman, Javier, and Samuri in BUFFALO BUSHIDO. He plays the "Ex" in It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. (2007)
Betty Koerber Glover (Mrs. Hancock, Linda’s Boss)
Betty Koerber Glover began her career as a dancer with the
San Francisco Ballet and Opera Company in 1950. She moved to New York and appeared in the Broadway and National Companies of "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn," "Oklahoma!,"
"Wonderful Town," "Silk Stockings," Damn Yankees," and "The Vamp." She starred as Lola in "Damn Yankees" in dinner theatres and stock and did TV, industrials, night
clubs and off-Broadway performances. Moving to Los Angeles after her son Crispin was born, she choreographed and co-directed Broadway musicals at his school, and
original musicals for The Children'sTheatre Factory .She starred as an actress in"Growing Gracefully" at the Tiffany Theatre and was the Voice of Crispin's Mother in the
TV show "The Best Of Times."
Jami Farrell (Julie)
Jami Farrell is an American model and actress. She was born raised in Muncie, Indiana , USA. She was chosen as Playboy's Playmate of the Month in January, 1997. She appears in the film BOAT TRIP.
Carrie Szlasa (Karma)
Carrie graduated from Fordham University in 1999. She has appeared in the films SCRAMBLED (2003) as Trix, THE FUNERAL directed by Abel Ferrara and I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU NOT (1996) and as Sara in the TV series “Undressed” (1999).
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