Monday, 11 April 2011
hanging out with FOX AND HIS FRIENDS (1975)
A carnival worker (Fassbinder) wins a lottery but his wealth doesn't last long as predatory 'friends' begin to swarm around him.
In FOX AND HIS FRIENDS painfully skinny Fassbinder essays one of his most memorable lead roles.The film explores the director's favourite theme: longing for and simultaneous deep distrust of any kind of relationship.
A lot of the cast of this gay drama occasionally featured in Eurocult films.
Harry Baer (Fernando Di Leo's I PADRONI DELLA CITTA '76) plays the man whose charms threaten to destroy Fox's idyllic cohabitation with Peter Chatel (Aldo Lado's WHO SAW HER DIE?). Adrian Hoven (producer of a Jess Franco classic SUCCUBUS'68, in which he also co-stars) is cast as Chatel's father who also wouldn't mind a piece of Fox's fortune to save his firm from bankrupcy. Karl Boehm (PEEPING TOM) has a part as the furniture dealer who introduces Fox to the gay community.
The story is dramatically flawed, but purposely so. Fassbinder isn't just constructing a tear-jerker here. He is trying to make a point: exploited people are complicit in their own misery and suffering.
FOX AND HIS FRIENDS can be alternatively viewed as a colourful melodrama or as an anti-gay (!), mysoginistic picture, as well as a critique of capitalism. But it's worth seeing all the same.