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Brad Davis as lead character, Georges Querelle.

Brad Davis as Georges Querelle, the titular character in Fassbinder’s Querelle.

Local film screenings raise funds for Seaview

In a effort to raise funds for local homeless charity Seaview, Hastings resident Stephen Brogan has organised monthly film screenings at The Pig’s Palace, White Rock. After a popular showing last month of the Quentin Crisp biopic, The Naked Civil Servant, there will be a screening of Rainer Fassbinder’s Querelle this Friday, 29 March, at 7pm (no advance tickets, £5 at the door). HOT’s Jordan Dixon spoke to Brogan about his motivations, love of film and the importance of assisting the homeless.

What motivated you to arrange these monthly screenings?

In general, I’m doing these monthly screenings because it’s hard to see the sorts of films I like on a big screen these days. So many independent cinemas have gone. We’re lucky in Hastings to have Kino and the Electric Palace, both show really good films.

But I want to show my favourite art house / film noir / camp / cult films. Films with an explicitly queer content, and films that appeal to a bohemian audience. My big inspiration is the Scala Cinema in King’s Cross, London, now sadly gone. As a youngster I saw so many incredible art house films there.

How do you feel about the success of your initial screening of The Naked Civil Servant?

It was a lot of fun! About 40 people attended, some seeing the film again because they loved it, others seeing it for the first time. The audience laughed and whooped at the fun bits, and gasped at the sad and frightening parts. Quentin Crisp was such a hero because, as he put it, he was an effeminate homosexual, which made him a ‘minority within a minority’.

And he was so brave because he dressed up and was visibly homosexual from the 1930s onwards. Homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised until 1967 so he risked prison and faced endless violence for his cause. He dealt with all of this with a witty aplomb!

Why is it important to you raise money and awareness for Seaview?

Homelessness is a national scandal that shames us. It is clear from the Tory government’s lack of action that they do not consider it a priority. We have a visible problem of homeless people in Hastings, and I want to do something to help. By raising money for Seaview I hope to make things a little easier for the local people who are on the streets.

Years ago I used to manage a night shelter in Hackney, so I have first hand experience of the problems. And all the homeless people that I chat to in Hastings sing the praises of Seaview, so I thought, let’s raise some money! They do amazing work.

Why did you personally decide to screen Querelle and what can first time viewers expect?querelle knife

On Friday 29 March I’m showing Querelle, which is Fassbinder’s film adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel Querelle of Brest. I love Fassbinder and Genet because they both tell us about the underbelly of society without any explanation or apology. This film features a gay drug-dealing sailor, a brothel, a madam, violence and murder. It makes for a fantastic, gritty story. And the acting is top quality: Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau and Dieter Schidor! The film has a beautiful aesthetic too, shot entirely on a set built by Fassbinder and lit in a garish expressionist light. I love artifice!

What films can we expect to see in the coming months?

The list includes Pink Flamingos, Cabaret, Personal Services, My Beautiful Launderette, The Killing of Sister George and Suddenly Last Summer.

 

If you wish to experience Querelle for the first time, revisit it once again or simply wish to assist a great cause, then head down to The Pig’s Palace this Friday evening, 29 March, at 7pm; no advance booking, £5 on the night.

 

 

Posted 12:56 Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 In: Film

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