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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 August 2017
Querelle is a 1982 West German-French English-language drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and it marked Fassbinder's final film as a writer/director before his death. The script is adapted from French author Jean Genet's 1947 novel Querelle de Brest, which I have not read, so I can't say how accurate/true the film is to the book. But oh what to say about this film; firstly today it looks like something out of a Jean Paul Gaultier fashion or fragrance campaign, it’s very atmospheric, quite surreal, it's filmed entirely in a studio in an almost stifling lurid amber light with the films sets having a highly stylised symbolic look to them.

I must admit that I found the story hard to understand and follow, but it’s provocative and has fetish themes with some disturbing scenes, violence, and some fairly lurid sex scenes. The plot centres on the very handsome, athletic, Belgian sailor Georges Querelle played by the late Brad Davis who manages to perfectly capture the languorous, seething sexy nature of the character who is heartless, an adventurer, opportunist, thief, and murderer. His ship arrives in Brest and he visits the Feria, a bar and brothel for sailors run by the Madame Lysiane (played by the legendary late Jeanne Moreau) and this tense, menacing, almost claustrophobic film and its characters begin to reveal themselves as the story unfolds exposing a dark underworld. I found the film very avant-garde, it has a strange stillness, but I can’t, in all honesty, say I enjoyed it, I found it incoherent and disjointed, but I think ultimately it's a film you have to watch and decide for yourself; it's certainly homoerotic.
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on 9 February 2016
very good.
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on 19 August 2016
Whoa - Fassbinder doing a late Fellini all in the studio
Hot steamy in ambience- pure cinema
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on 25 October 2014
excellent
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on 20 April 2017
Thought there was more going on but maybe it's my memory past
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Querelle has been seen as Fassbinder's worst film, but then for others it is his best. It is certainly one of the most lurid, and has some startling sex scenes, great sets, and iconic performances. Nono the bar owner is certainly hot, and his treatment of Querelle is startling. The film doesn't really make that much sense but as a vision it sort of works, helped by the completely unrealistic look of the film, and the fact that it is filmed entirely on set. It works best seen as a sort of comic, both erotic and perverse in its focus on murder. The former attribute is more consistently mined in the equally lurid but more successful Pink Narcissus of ten years earlier, an underground film by John Bidgood that is likely to give more pleasure. Querelle is a highly original creation that stays in the mind. It does evoke the magic of celluloid and is worth seeing for Brad Davis and Jeanne Moreau, as well as the actor playing Nono - something of a rarity with his burly physique, singlet and hidden, rude desires.
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on 11 June 2014
of the very best of the film maker, but the liberties with Genet's text are marvellously resolved in the visual re-enactment of the novel, and the voice over is as good as a voice over can get. Moreau at her best.... each man kils the thing he loves, di de di, di de di...... nice to have a more or less decent print.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 March 2013
This is a film I had been meaning to see for a long time and wish I had not left it so long. It stars sultry, hunk, Brad Davis (`Midnight Express' and `Chariots of Fire') as the title character Querelle. He is a gay, sailor who arrives in the French port of Brest to do a drug deal whilst opportunistically being on shore and some random violence and sex if he feels like it and oh yes he does. He is also the object of unrequited love of the ships Lieutenant Seblon (Franco Nero who's had an amazing career just made `Django Unchained' and was in the original `Django' in 1966) who lustily watches his underling whilst recording his feelings on a Dictaphone.

All the action in the town seems to centre on a bar/brothel where the `host' Nono throws dice to see who gets to `have' whom. If he wins you are basically going to be on the receiving end of some pretty big man `bear' type action. Also Nono's wife is having an open liaison with Querelles' brother and on meeting it is clear they have a love / hate relationship which seems to centre around some sort of physical attraction. Things happen at a poetic pace that is almost surreal at times and this is all absolutely intentional as it builds to an ending that is written big, from the start, that will be tragic.

This is an adaptation of Jean Genet's book and as such was always going to be difficult to adapt, but if anyone could then it has to be the director here Rainer Werner Fassbinder(`The Marriage of Maria Braun' and `The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant'). This was Fassbinder's last film in what had been both a productive and illuminating career; sadly he died of an overdose of cocaine at the age of 37. He wanted to capture the mood of the book and so deliberately filmed everything on a studio set, at some cost, so as to be able to have the surreal orange sky and clearly painted sun in some of the more iconic shots.

Nearly every scene has some homo erotic element to it. The sailors all walk around looking like refugees from a Jean Paul-Gautier advert and quotes from the book are interspersed through-out to help uncover the character which is too complex to be adequately conveyed in the normal restrictions of a two dimensional film. The language is deliberately provocative and infused with sexual meaning as in the real intention of the `f' word. There is also tension through-out along with stylised violence and the use of fetish clothing to make the film feel even more unreal and removed from the ordinary. Even the cop is in a leather biker outfit; wish it was like that in real life, the arrest rates might go up a bit though. And the lighting is stupendous, this has been lit like a noir classic in places, couple this with the lingering sultry shots of Querelle looking both languorous and sexy just by standing there and the effect is one that is both intriguing and almost beguiling.

I watched this almost totally rapt at what it was supposed to be and what I thought a film should be but this was not complying to the norms. So I took a while to think of what I really had seen and it is so obvious that a director like this comes along so rarely that when you get the chance to see his work you realise that this is indeed something special.
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on 27 August 2014
sereal , engrosing film superbly acted, saw it years ago glad its finaly available on blu ray. Brad Davis very good actor, and very atractive man
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on 3 August 2014
excelent
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