6.9/10
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34 user 29 critic

Querelle (1982)

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 »

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lieutenant Seblon
...
Lysiane
...
Roger Bataille
Hanno Pöschl ...
Robert / Gil
...
Nono
Burkhard Driest ...
Mario
Roger Fritz ...
Marcellin
Dieter Schidor ...
Vic Rivette
...
Paulette
...
Betrunkener Legionär
Werner Asam ...
Arbeiter
...
Mädchen
Axel Bauer ...
Arbeiter
Neil Bell ...
Theo
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will take you into a surreal world of passion and sexuality, further than most would dare to go. [Video Australia]

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Kerel  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 4,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby stereo)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about thirty-five years after its source novel "Querelle de Brest" by Jean Genet had been first published in 1947. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: And humility can only be born of humiliation, otherwise it is nothing but vanity.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Living End (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Sailor's Accordion
Composed By [Musique Composée Par] David Ambach, Peer Raben
Directed By [Dirigée Par], Orchestrated By [Orchestrée Par] Peer Raben
(P) Schlicht Musikverlage, 1982 RCA/Ciné Music
© Schlicht Musikverlage
Published and Licensed by Musikverlage Hans Wewerka
See more »

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User Reviews

Problematic Final Work
25 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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