French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice ... See full summary »
Munich, 1955: A sports journalist meets Veronika Voss, an UFA actress who supposedly had an affair with Goebbels. Now declining, Voss is kept by her "kind" doctor, Dr. Katz, supplying her ... See full summary »
"Tiger" Haynes (Chaney) is a animal trapper in China who lives with his beautiful daughter, Toyo (Velez). Toyo soon becomes romantically involved with Bobby (Hughes), who turns out to be ... See full summary »
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Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »
In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town.... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Hans is a street fruit peddler and born-loser. His choice of career upsets his bourgeois family, causing him to turn to drinking and violence. After recovering from a debilitating heart ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Oliver's mother, a penniless outcast, died giving birth to him. As a young boy Oliver is brought up in a workhouse, later apprenticed to an uncaring undertaker, and eventually is taken in ... See full summary »
James A. Marcus,
Melrose's circus is being threatened by his competitor, who's angry that Melrose has outmanuevered him in bookings; what he doesn't know is that the competitor has also planted a saboteur ... See full summary »
Erle C. Kenton
'Little Billy' Rhodes
French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice with Nono, Lysiane's husband : if you win, you are allowed to make love with Lysiane, if you lose, you have to make love with Nono... Querelle loses on purpose... Written by
Selected for the 1982 Venice Film Festival. That year, the Golden Lion for best film went to 'Wim Wender''s The State of Things (1982) much to the disgust of Marcel Carné. He withdrew from President of the Jury after releasing the following statement, "I would love to make a personal statement. While being President of the Jury, I would love to express my disappointment in not having been able to convince my colleagues to place R.W. Fassbinder's "Querelle" among the winners. As a matter of fact, I've found myself alone in defending the Movie. Nevertheless, I keep on thinking that, although controversial, R.W. Fassbinder final movie, want it or not, love it or hate it, will one day find its place in the history of cinema." The statement appears at the beginning of Querelle videotapes and DVDs in Italy. See more »
And humility can only be born of humiliation, otherwise it is nothing but vanity.
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A very difficult film, for many reasons. As a source novel, Genet's 'Querelle' presents a challenge for any adaptation but as this is R.W. Fassbinder's final work, one is compelled to ignore one's initial (poor) response and dig for signs of the vision seen elsewhere in his cannon.
This is a film that unrelentingly refuses to let the viewer in. Narrative is piled upon narrative which is further punctuated by Brechtian title cards containing quotes from a variety of sources (including, of course, Genet's novel). The high stylisation of setting and performance is deliberately off putting and distancing. In this world of almost exclusive homosexual desire, women are severely marginalised which leaves the great Jeanne Moreau with little to do other than warble a rather ridiculous (and ridiculously catchy) pop ditty that uses Oscar Wilde's 'Ballad of Reading Gaol' for lyrics. Here, choice of sexuality is symbolic for how one stands in opposition to social rules and true fulfilment and depth of being comes only in humility and, ultimately, humiliation. Of course, much of this overtly gay posturing can be seen simply as high camp and add an undeniable veneer of silliness which is, quite frankly, hard to shake off.
However, this is a deeply serious film. Maybe Fassbinder was simply looking to upset as many people as he could and the whole point is to alienate the viewer as much as possible, either into anger or submission. It's hard to fully know what to make of 'Querelle' but either way, although stunningly lit, it has little of the swagger or movement of his best work and comes across as rather staid and inert. But, again, possibly that's the point. Confusion and denial as to individual identity leads to frustration and random acts of violence (if only to oneself) and self imploding inertia. It's hard to criticise a film that is deliberate about these points but, ultimately, it is equally hard to like and finding a place for it is no easy task. Possibly a work to admire and provoke rather than one to enjoy.
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