Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
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...
For more about Querelle and the Querelle Blu-ray release, see Querelle Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 24, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau, Laurent Malet, Roger Fritz
Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
» See full cast & crew
Querelle Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 24, 2012
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Querelle" (1982) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French distributors Gaumont. The supplemental features on the disc include original French trailer for the film; video introduction by director Volker Schlondorff; video interview with actor Franco Nero; and Pierre-Henri Gibert's documentary "Le Crepuscule des corps". In English, with optional French or French SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
The handsome sailor Querelle (Brad Davis, Midnight Express) arrives in the port city of Brest looking for a client willing to a buy from him a few kilos of opium. Soon after, he ends up in a notorious brothel owned by an aging madam, Lysiane (Jeanne Moreau, Elevator to the Gallows, The Trial), and her husband, Nono (Günther Kaufmann, Veronika Voss), a bisexual giant with plenty of dangerous friends. Nono promises to buy the opium from Querelle if he brings it to his place.
Later on, Querelle arranges with another sailor to have the opium smuggled through customs. On the shore, not too far away from the brothel, he kills his partner and then goes to see Nono. After he pays him for the delivery, the giant offers Querelle a different kind of deal: They roll the dice. If Querelle wins, he can make love to Lysaine. If the giant wins, he gets Querelle's ass. Excited by the possibilities, Querelle decides to play Nono's game. He loses and has his first homosexual experience.
Back on the ship, Querelle's captain, Seblon (played by the great Franco Nero, Keoma), continues to tape his most intimate desires. Having fallen madly in love with Querelle, Seblon cannot stand to see him spending time with men and women that do not deserve him. However, the more Seblon tapes himself, the more he begins to question his feelings. Is it love or lust that is driving him crazy?
Meanwhile, Querelle begins an affair with Lysaine, but quickly determines that being with her isn't quite as exciting as being with her husband. He then meets the handsome Polish worker Gil (Hanno Poschl, Revanche), who has also killed another man. Gil steals Querelle's heart and he immediately panics because he has never before been in love with another man. When the police begin looking for the killer of Querelle's partner, he decides to betray Gil so that no other man could ever be with him.
Based on Jean Genet's novel, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's final film is like a very intense, borderline x-rated dream in which people with inexorable desires constantly challenge fate. It is highly stylized, stunningly beautiful film but at the same time also a seriously disturbing one. It is a film in which - and this is the only way it could be somewhat accurately described - there is no bottom. Everyone seems to exist in some sort of a vacuum where the only way to feel alive is to sink as low as possible in order to experience a new pain or pleasure.
It is difficult to make sense of everything that takes place in the film. Parts of it are melancholic and sad, possibly reflecting the state of mind Fassbinder was in at the time when the film was conceived (he had lost one of his lovers, El-Hedi Ben Salem, and was already regularly taking hard drugs). Other parts overflow with nihilistic overtones. There are certain areas of the film where conventional religion is also clearly targeted.
Despite various text inserts from Genet's novel, it is also virtually impossible to view Querelle as a straight adaptation of it. For example, in the film Querelle exists in a male society where women are only occasionally noticed; more often than not they are beautiful but useless objects; they are completely incapable of influencing or redirecting a man's life. In Genet's novel, this subversive disbalance is missing.
Nevertheless, Querelle is fascinating to behold because it completely ignores conventional characterization rules and bends morality standards with impressive authority, while all along it challenges one to think. Simply put, it is naughty entertainment for the thinking mind.
Querelle Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.36:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Querelle arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of French distributors Gaumont.
Generally speaking, all basics are good. The high-definition transfer, which was apparently struck from a newly restored master, offers notable upgrades in terms of definition, contrast stability and color reproduction. Certain sections of the film look quite soft, but they are indeed part of Xaver Schwarzenberger and Josef Vavra's very unique photography -- various light filters and color enhancements are used throughout the entire film to achieve a certain 'dreamy' look (see screencapture #11 and 17). The strong color shifts from yellow to green to brown are also intended. Detail and clarity also have a tendency to fluctuate. For example, virtually all sequences in which Lysiane is present look quite subdued, while sequences with Lieutenant Seblon tend to look sharper. Furthermore, there are no traces of excessive sharpening. However, some extremely light denoising corrections have been applied (they are similar to the ones observed in Captain Fracassa's Journey). Overall, however, the film does have a moderately stable organic look, and both clarity and color reproduction are indeed far more satisfying than those observed on the old R1 DVD release, which Sony Pictures produced quite a few years ago. Viewers with larger screens will also be pleased to know that there isn't even a whiff of macrobloking. However, some light compression artifacts occasionally pop up here and there, as well as some extremely light flicker (upper left corner). There are no larger debris, damage marks, cuts, or stains. All in all, without a shadow of a doubt Gaumont's presentation of Querelle represents a very strong upgrade in quality over the earlier mentioned R1 DVD release, but I feel that there is still some room for improvement. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
Querelle Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. For the record, Gaumont have provided optional French and French SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
The original English track is good. It has a decent range of dynamics and the dialog remains consistently crisp. There are no dropouts or audio distortions to report in this review either. This being said, optional English subtitles would have been a terrific bonus for this release - not only because some of the principal actors have rather thick accents (Franco Nero), but also because there are a couple of small text inserts that are in French. Still, this isn't something that should keep you from picking up Gaumont's Blu-ray release.
Querelle Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Querelle Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Rainer Werner Fassbinder's final film, Querelle, definitely isn't for everyone. But viewers who aren't afraid to challenge themselves with bold films that do not follow conventional rules should not miss it. Even though there is some room for improvement, Gaumont's Blu-ray release represents a major upgrade in quality over the now out of print R1 DVD release of Querelle, which Sony Pictures produced quite a few years ago. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Querelle. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Querelle in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Querelle Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for Querelle Blu-ray yet.
Querelle Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Querelle Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.