QUERELLE (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982)

“[Georges Querelle] is in great danger of finding himself.” — Lysiane, brothel madam Exquisite, searing (despite a dirty mouth), Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s abstractly infernal Querelle is “about” Jean Genet’s 1953 novel Querelle de Brest rather than an adaptation of it. The English-language film, from West Germany and France, is dedicated to El Hedi ben Salem, […]

PORGY AND BESS (Otto Preminger, 1959)

Rouben Mamoulian must have hated Otto Preminger. Producer Preminger fired director Mamoulian from Laura (1944) and took over the direction himself. Fifteen years later, producer Samuel Goldwyn fired Mamoulian from Porgy and Bess and substituted Preminger. Mamoulian had directed the original 1935 stage production of George and Ira Gershwin’s folk opera. The film, which has […]