Querelle

Brad Davis plays the eponymous sailor hero in Querelle (1982), Rainer Werner Fassbinder's galvanic adaptation of Jean Genet's masterpiece. No one's come closer to Genet's lush phantasmagoria. Fassbinder confronts the writer's radioactive lyricism head-on, banishing all pretense to objective realism. The setting is Brest, France, a seedy port of call rendered as hermetic sex theater: massive stone phalli rising from ramparts; honeycombed caf├ęs, dense with crystal, fractured to mirrored infinity; plaster hillsides with blatantly fake trees; furtive nooks and enormous toy ships. On a painted sky, a paper disk for the sun, the light source (from somewhere) suffusing all in a heavy autumnal glow harmonized (from yet another mysterious source) with tints of sapphire. Fassbinder completed Querelle, then died. His final act as an artist was to immortalize Genet on film with greater force than Genet himself. (NR) NATHAN LEE

Thu., April 7, 7 p.m.; Sat., April 16, 7 p.m.; Thu., April 21, 7 p.m.; Sat., April 30, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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