Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fassbinder and Genet

Fassbinder's last film was Querelle (1982), based on Genet's first novel.

If you separate the story as told by the moving pictures and the story in the words, it's an interesting picture story.  It would be interesting to watch it as a silent film. Or as an extended dream. I felt some obligation, as a therapist, to be more open to it. But the words, both descriptive and spoken, seem to be alluring and mocking. They are beyond me. But then so is Genet, whom Sartre described in his existentialist hagiography as having "the vertigo of those who are beyond repair." His life seemed to be one long tantrum set to prose.

In the Querelle soup are the sea and sailors, women, fraternal hatred and incest, narcissism, unrequited love, sodomy, murder, betrayal, masculinity. It's very French.

The novel was published in 1947, so this is a deeply pre-Stonewall world, full of masculine passions but entirely innocent of gay liberation. 

Brad Davis and Franco Nero are pleasing to the eye.

Watching it made me feel very bourgeois.

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