French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice ...
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French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice with Nono, Lysiane's husband : if you win, you are allowed to make love with Lysiane, if you lose, you have to make love with Nono... Querelle loses on purpose... Written by
Jean Genet's queer theory is still cutting edge and controversial. The film version can't begin to encompass all the ideas in the novel, but it stands on its own. This film is stylized and poetic, raw and crass. Tenderness and brutality blend until you can't tell one from the other. Betrayal becomes an act of affection. Submission is empowering.
Characters travel to extremes in their journeys of self discovery. One man seduces his young lover with lecherous statements about the boy's sister, "Imagine what I'd do to her if I were holding her like I'm holding you right now." The same man later rants in a bar, "I'm all man!!! I even f*** guys!" This dichotomy of gender-play and defiant same-sexuality is at the root of Genet's queer theory. Even someone with no knowledge of Genet's philosophy will be struck by its power in this film.
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