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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
West Germany/France, 1982

Seeing Querelle for the first time this year (reclining in a cushy royal purple seat at the PFA) acted as a much needed cinephilic blood transfusion. A cinephile’s life is marked by the hundreds of films she sees a year, floating between rapture and frustration at the glut of images. It's possible to get a little jaded and unenthusiastic—to find oneself feeling emotionally hollow at the prospect of watching yet another film. And then a work comes along that makes your eyes pop and pulse race—something that jars you out of your complacency and reaffirms your faith and passion for cinema.

So, thank you, Fassbinder, for: Querelle’s bevy of beefy sailors; shiny surfaces (primarily contained within the body of one Jeanne Moreau and her glimmering gown); the oppressive artificiality of the red and yellow lighting of a never-setting sun; the constantly shifting planes of desire and revulsion characters feel for one another amidst their awakening (homo)sexuality, the desire to fuck and to kill merging into one; the beautiful Franco Nero in his uniquely (against the grime and sweat) crisp white suit; and Querelle, the unsavory sad ruffian at the center of it all.