Rainer Werner Fassbinder, director
Querelle (West Germany/France; 1982)
Original movie poster designed by Andy Warhol
Rainer Werner Fassbinder has been celebrated as one of Europe’s most significant directorial voices in cinematic history. Directing 41 feature films in only 13 years and helping to put “New German Cinema” on the map in the 1970s, Fassbinder incorporated numerous styles and techniques in his films, resulting in a career that spans from dramatic realism to over-the-top, almost campy, melodramas. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when he overdosed on a combination of drugs and alcohol in 1982.
Fassbinder was open about the importance of his homosexuality to his work. Fassbinder once claimed, “Homosexuality is probably a factor in all of my films… Not all have a gay subject, but they all have the point of view of one gay man.” His final film, Querelle, took stylized set design to new extremes, with phallic pillars and towers surrounding the seaport where the film’s amoral protagonist comes in touch with his homosexual desires. Although many posters for Querelle emphasize the film’s homoerotic set pieces, American artist Andy Warhol was inspired to design his own Querelle poster, which hints at the themes of violence and passion that pervade the film.