Fögi Is a Bastard (1998)

Unrated   |    |  Drama, Music, Romance


Fögi Is a Bastard (1998) Poster

Fifteen-year-old Beni falls in love with Fögi, a singer in a Rock band. As Fögi seduces him, Beni is willing to follow him where ever he takes him. But Fögi is a drug addict and pulls Beni ... See full summary »


6.5/10
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25 September 2001 | kenru-2
10
| Great film about a dysfunctional gay affair.
From the other comments {as of 2001 when I first wrote about this film here} you might think "Fogi is a Bastard" is a total loser film; but I think those others missed the boat on this one. It remains the #1 film I'd like to own on video, one that actually breaks new ground in examining a hot, if dysfunctional, gay love affair. For me, it was the best film at OUTFEST 1999; and even though as a film it probably is not a masterpiece, as a gay film it is so amazing and mind blowing that it has replaced "Law of Desire" (by Almodòvar), as my all-time favorite gay film. Vincent Branchet plays Beni, a schoolboy in 1974 Switzerland, who develops a crush on Fogi the notoriously gay lead singer/guitarist of a local punk band, "The Minks". They form a relationship which starts out as innocent puppy dog attraction with wonderful sex, and which devolves to heavy sado-masochism as Fogi descends into heroin addiction and starts hiring out Beni as a call-boy and treating the willing and cooperative Beni as his dog (too bad the more apropos title, "My Life as a Dog" was already taken). It sounds unpromising, I know. Yet the film is such an unsparingly realistic portrayal; the actors so outstanding (Branchet is both the most attractive young actor and one of the best actors period that I've seen in several years; and Frederic Andrau, who plays Fogi is no slouch, himself) that it all works. The film is beautifully shot in a realistic, gritty style with a very mobile camera which defies description (a scene where the characters have dropped LSD and the whirling camera is used as a metaphor for their internal state is simply stunning.) It is exciting and innovative film making, and the director Marcel Gisler is one to watch for. This is a film I would go back to see over and over if it were ever to get a release here.

I finally got to see this film again on DVD in March, 2012; and the film has lost none of its power to shock and amaze. Twelve years have passed since I saw it, and still no other filmmaker has managed to make a gay themed dramatic film which so ardently and truthfully managed to capture the unvarnished essence of the sex, drugs and Gothic Rock gay culture of the '70s. This film might have been set in Switzerland; but it could have been set anywhere that gay people congregated in that pre-AIDS, post-Stones era. This film remains a milestone of the gay cinema and deserves its place in the canon.

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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Music | Romance

Details

Release Date:

28 April 1999

Language

French


Country of Origin

France, Switzerland

Filming Locations

France

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