A condensed version of a Rainer Werner Fassbinder TV film from 1977. Perhaps the pacing was superior in the three-hour original, but the lack of narrative rhythm in the film’s present form makes it a grueling experience even for those sympathetic to Fassbinder’s enervated view of the world. With a plot that recalls Madame Bovary, the film recounts the romantic disappointments of a minor official’s wife in a small German town. In the late Fassbinder style, the mise-en-scene is heavily clogged with intervening objects, generating his classic theme of the impossibility of love in a materialist society. Yet the characterization of the wife (Elisabeth Trissenaar) has an acrid shrewishness that pushes the film toward blunt misogyny. With Kurt Raab as the pathetically loving husband.