7.17.2006

2 Fassbinder 2 Furious

Awww, yeah! Just to note, the images at the bottom of this post will not be suitable viewing for work unless, much like my work, you spend a lot of your day looking at genitalia.

Ok, now onto the post.

In my desire to continue the Canon of Queer Cinema, I have been scouring Netflix for films worthy of canonization. Along the way, I rediscovered the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. His beautiful take on Genet's Querelle de Brest was a critical disaster, but as is the case with many great works of art, it has taken a few years' distance for its genius to crystallize. Querelle will be the canonical entry, but while we wait for me to formulate a few ideas about the piece, let's take a look at his 1975 film Fox and His Friends.

Fox and His Friends tells the story of Fox who is an out of work carnie that wins a lot of money. Of course, the money creates rather than solves problems, and Fox eventually takes an overdose of valium to escape his pitiful life.

Simple enough story, right? Well, it is a simple story, and that allows Fassbinder the luxury of touching on many topics--classism, capitalism, industrialization, homosexuality.
Fox and His Friends is a rare film in that the lead (played by Fassbinder himself) and many of the supporting characters are gay. Some of them are effete, some masculine. Some of them are rich, some poor. Some are kind, some predatory. This film was made over 30 years ago and filmmakers still have problems depicting our community so humanly.
Should this film be canonized? Probably. Rather than depicting how gay men fit into the straight world, it deals more with how gay men treat one another (not very well). Fox's lover, Eugen (Peter Chatel), is an upper-middle class asshole who uses Fox solely for his money. His two-year (and then some) scheme to drain Fox of his money is a bit implausible, but by this point in the film, the relationship is more allegory of the rich exploiting the working class.

Perhaps Fassbinder's greatest accomplishment with this film is the plethora of wiener shots (including a couple of his own).

For your viewing pleasure:

Click for bigger Wang
Click for bigger wang
Rainer's little Fassbinder (Click for larger)
Thanks, indeed. Click for larger.
Additional Resources:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

thats the kind of NSFW I like!
T

GayProf said...

unless, much like my work, you spend a lot of your day looking at genitalia.

Oddly enough, yes, my work does involve this.

Bewareoftheblog said...

That is so random. I've been catching up on my Fassbinder all summer and started with "Fox and His Friends."

I do not recommend doing this via TiVO as you are more likely to end up with endless hours of "Fox and Friends" from the Fox News Channel.