Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I finally got around to watching Querelle, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's last movie before dying of a drug overdose. When it came out in 1982, it was received with mixed reviews (Fassbinder's style was usually misunderstood by critics and this was no exception) but there's a certain poetry and beauty to the movie that elevates it from being just a homoerotic movie about seamen.

Based on Jean Genet's 1953 novel, it's staged and lit beautifully by Fassbinder (who overdoes it a little with the phallic imagery) and it turns out to be more than a tale of murder and gayness -- it's a surreal and poetic commentary on masculinity, love and death. Plus, it features Jeanne Moreau singing "Each man kills the thing he loves," an excerpt from Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol set to music. And damn, Brad Davis was hunky! And his performance isn't half bad.

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