OMG! That’s Warhol visiting the set of Querelle in 1982, standing right next to my shirtless boyfriend Brad Davis and assorted other cast members. Below, the director - who died of a cocaine-induced heart attack several months before the film’s release - joins Brad and Andy.
This seems as good a time as any to retrospect on the honey-bronze art of Fassbinder’s imperfect final film:
Kind of appropriately for a movie about a mysterious sailor, Querelle took on a new identity at each new port. The original French poster, above, lets the oblique oranges and pinks of a angsty post-murder dawn spill over a seductive image that is free of instructive or explicatory taglines. Fans will instantly recognise the beautiful Brad Davis and Querelle’s flick-knife - which doubles here as some kind of lightsaber cock - and his sexy singlet and pom-pom hat. Rolf Zehetbaur’s over-the-top set design that reconfigured pier pilings as gigantic stone cocks replete with balls at the base is given major eye space.
In Germany (below) however, a misleading still hovered above the title and the tagline “A pact with the Devil”. Querelle’s main crime wasn’t jewel theft, and the confused look on his face suggests he has a conscience, another error. Any volk who stumbled into a screening expecting a linear narrative about a good sailor and some missing strings of pearls would have received Querelle like an unexpected splash of cum in the eye: