12/18/2014  
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30Elsa & Fred on Blu-ray & DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...
Ex-Anonymous hacker questions North Korea's role in Son...
Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over 'The Interview...
Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

DOWN AND DIRTY WITH JIM NORTON...
WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
CRIPS AND BLOODS: MADE IN AMERICA...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Querelle (1982)

"Querelle listened the drums and pipes performing for him alone. The offices for the dead. He wrapped himself in prudence, waited for the angel to strike."
- Narrator (Uncredited)

Review By: Daniel Hirshleifer   
Published: July 11, 2001

Stars: Bruce Davis, Hanno P–schl
Other Stars: Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau, Laurent Malet, G¸nther Kaufman, Burkhard Driest, Roger Fritz, Dieter Schidor, Nadja Brunckhorst
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sexual content and language)
Run Time: 01h:48m:34s
Release Date: July 10, 2001
UPC: 043396067455
Genre: offbeat


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ BD-D D-

DVD Review

I'm a Fassbinder fan, and there is a definite dearth of his films on DVD. So, imagine my surprise when my editor sent me Fassbinder's final film, Querelle, completely unsolicited on my part. Having never seen it, I was anxious when I first put the DVD in the player. How would it compare to Fassbinder's other work? How would the disc look and sound? I didn't want to see the final film from a master filmmaker in subpar quality. I was relieved and disappointed with the results. The movie is interesting and stimulating, but it's not Fassbinder's best (for image and audio quality see below).

Querelle, about a sailor (Bruce Davis) anchored in Brest, is a surrealistic look at a young man discovering his sexuality. Based on Jean Genet's novel Querelle de Brest, the film deals with various forms of sexuality and love. His brother, Robert (Hanno P–schl), is the lover of the madame of a local brothel, Lysiane (Jeanne Moreau). In order to have sex with Lysiane, patrons have to roll dice with her husband, Nono (G¸nther Kaufman). If they lose, Nono sodomizes them. At the brothel, Querelle sees a cop and is attracted to him. After killing a sailor, he comes back and purposely loses to Nono, in an effort to accept his homosexuality. Meanwhile, a local construction worker, Gil (Hanno P–schl again) kills one of his coworkers. Querelle helps him escape, and subsequently falls in love with him.

That brief overview doesn't do justice to the various storylines running through the movie. Fassbinder packs a lot into the film, perhaps more than he should. It's undoubtedly an ambitious film, and in many respects it works. The surreal atmosphere works in the film's favor; the scene where Nono sodomizes Querelle is infinitely more artful because of it. And there is a scene where Querelle and Robert have a knife fight in the street that is absolutely stunning. For a director's first experiment with surrealism this is remarkably well done (most experiments by major directors fail miserably), although not without issue. Fassbinder uses sepia tones and deep blues, as well as using an obvious backdrop for the sky, to heighten the atmosphere. And every shot has the touch of a master. I was constantly compelled by the camera work, regardless of the content on the screen. Despite its shortcomings, you can still feel that Querelle is a mature work of art.

There are, however, flaws. Firstly, Fassbinder's reach exceeds his grasp. In trying to make a multi-layered film, Fassbinder adds more plot lines than necessary. Jeanne Moreau's character in particular is only a minor character until the end, when suddenly she becomes one of the most important characters in the story. That sort of thing doesn't work. Secondly, there is a voiceover that gets annoying fast. Now, I have no problems with narration, but in this case the images speak for themselves without need of someone spouting, at times, non-sequitors. And the final problem lies in the acting. Many of the actors, Bruce Davis especially, are flat. Even the normally fantastic Jeanne Moreau seems a bit off here. It's as if Fassbinder told the actors to just read the dialogue, so he could focus on the atmosphere without having to deal with acting issues. Strangely, Hanno P–schl is horrible as Robert, while simultaneously giving the best performance of the picture as Gil.

Ultimately, the final issue is the feeling that Fassbinder is trying too hard to make fine art. When a movie becomes too embroiled with its own self-importance, it becomes lost. Querelle is missing a necessary humor that would lift the film in ways that the cinematography and intelligent symbolism cannot. Also, the best art seems effortless. Our minds know that immense time and energy were spent creating it, but emotionally we feel as if the art appeared on this earth fully formed. Querelle has appeared missing an important component. Unfortunately, Fassbinder died of a drug overdose in June 1982. Had he survived, perhaps he could have progressed his art further to create a distinct and powerful body of work rooted in surrealism and symbolism. Alas, we shall never know.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The transfer on this disc is really off-putting. This film already has an odd look, in many ways like an old Technicolor epic (not surprising considering Fassbinder's origins in the genre). The transfer is dull, dull, dull! I could see the deep colors just waiting to burst out and dazzle us, but it was not to be. Look at the scene where Lysian confronts Querelle in her room. Look at the blue on her face. It's obvious that was meant to be more powerful than it is. Add to this considerable grain and dirt, and you have a very poor transfer indeed. It is, however, anamorphically enhanced.

Image Transfer Grade: D-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is just as bad as the video. The dialogue sounds cramped and harsh. The whole mix sounds cramped and harsh. The music is barely noticeable (although perhaps that was Fassbinder's intention, in which case, bravo!), and essentially this is an inadequate mix. It's obvious that no care was taken with this disc, and I'm upset.

Audio Transfer Grade: D

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Opposite of Sex and sex, lies, and videotape
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: Unknown

Extras Review: We don't even get the original theatrical trailer. Instead we get trailers for The Opposite of Sex and sex, lies, and videotape. These two movies may at first glance appear similar in content to Querelle, since all three movies deal with sex. However, these movies aren't even similar to each other, let alone Querelle.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

A troubling final effort from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Querelle is often fascinating, but shows serious flaws that impede the audience from becoming fully engrossed in it. However, its obvious strengths are such that those who admire Fassbinder, as well as those who appreciate surrealist cinema, will find enough in this to make it worth investigating.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

horror, television, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, final show, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, documentary, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football, star wars 7, john boyega, stormtrooper, samuel l. jackson, billy dee williams, james earl jones

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store