Peter Chatel

  • Daniel Schmid – La Paloma (1974)

    When you play with clichés, you have to be very careful that they don’t backfire; the little things have a way of maiming almost everything around them.

    Daniel Schmid’s “La Paloma” — which was shown last night and to be repeated tonight at the New York Film Festival — is intentionally crammed with cultural chestnuts, and also makes a heavy pass at the plots of “Camille” and “La Traviata.” Kitsch and camp collide in this storm of pity and terror and wonder, which seethes with boundless love, burning glances, and unfathomable revenge.Read More »

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Fox and His Friends aka Faustrecht der Freiheit (1975)

    As great as it is merciless, a film that inevitably precipitates violent disagreements, Fox and His Friends (the rhyming German title of which roughly translates as Fists of Freedom or, better, Might Makes Right) is the male mirror of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant: a portrait of class exploitation and emotional sadomasochism amongst a group of homosexuals. Fassbinder plays Fox, a carnival entertainer who wins a lottery and thereby becomes an alluring object of desire for an antiques dealer who is on the verge of bankruptcy. The posh businessman takes the naïve carnie as his lover and introduces him to the world of Munich’s upper-crust gays, with tragic results.Read More »

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