Although the sailor Querelle (Brad Davis) is strong, he is also an outcast. The crimes he commits free him, and this freedom gives him power. The sailors on the naval destroyer submit themselves to Querelle’s gradual transformation and give in to his will.
Could have been made for TV, shot in the most brilliant synthetic of fire and ice, a theatrical inundation. Indeed a sadomasochistic endeavor, and a literal jump in the pond for RWF, the sinking. Now please make a proper transfer of "Women in New York," okay? We deserve it. Come on, sailor, touch it.
i finally got around to watching querelle. i'm not sure whether it is a masterpiece or whether it's absolutely terrible....it's bizarre how experimental it is, harking back to his earlier films and disregarding the later more conventional ones with everything but the visual fassbinder look which is taken to glorious new heights in this film, if only he had lived to be able to do the voiceover...
Almost unfathomable for me to wrap my head around this from one viewing. A transgressive adaptation which rather skilfully constructs a queer fever dream, playfully depicting even the homophobic as symbols of homoerotic repression. Remarkable aesthetics and sets, only bogged down by the density of RWF's eliciting of the literary in what should remain cinematic. That and a lack of clarity in plot and characters.