Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The Roxie is currently running a program of Fassbinder films, and then the program continues at the YBCA. This is the only one I've made it out to so far, and I don't know if I'll make any of the others. In any case, it's a powerful emotional story of a hard-luck gay carnival worker (um,...that is he's a gay man who works in a carnival, the carnival itself isn't gay...at least no gayer than your typical carnival) played by Fassbinder himself. He loses his job in the opening scenes (as his act is broken up by the police) and he has to run a scam just to get 10 measly marks. Which he promptly uses to play the lottery. In the next seen, we see him hob-nobbing with rich folk, as he has just won half a million marks. So he runs with a new crowd, takes a new lover, and...still doesn't fit in. On the one hand, money can't buy class. On the other hand, his new friends are a bunch of elitist pricks who are just sponging off his money until they bleed him dry. Nasty work, but brilliantly executed and pretty powerful.

Plus I like the idea that the Fox News show Fox and Friends is secretly an homage to this classic of queer cinema. I don't like it enough to actually watch Fox and Friends, but still...

I saw this at the end of a day that started with INTOLERANCE and THE WICKER MAN at the Castro. That was an interesting progression. INTOLERANCE is a strongly religious, Christian film, showcasing the inhumanity of man and presenting love--particularly the love of Jesus Christ--as the answer. THE WICKER MAN is a profoundly anti-religious film, declaring God to be dead and touting pagan worship and sexuality (after all, the naked pagan ladies are what first drew me to the WICKER MAN.) And then FOX AND HIS FRIENDS starts off with (gay) sex, showcases a lot of it, and ultimately is a bitter showcase of inhumanity. Nicely closed circle, don't you think?

Running Time: 123 minutes
My Total Minutes: 338,462

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