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April 2002, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 14:59:01 -0400
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Women Make Movies is proud to feature the works of internationally renowned filmmaker, Ulrike Ottinger.  A unique and provocative voice in German cinema since her debut in the early 1970s, Ottinger has directed 15 films, including feature-length fictions and experimental documentaries.  While her early films explore Berlin's many subcultures and diverse populations, Ottinger is perhaps best known for her signature use of visual effects to explore unusual aspects of contemporary culture. Her films have been screened around the world to critical acclaim and she is among a handful of women directors in Europe to have achieved international stature.

"Ottinger works the margins which put her on the cutting edge. The multiculturalism of her films is the kind that shoots up every identity, sexual or otherwise, with a megadose of difference. There is no other filmmaker."  Laurence Rickels, Artforum

*********** THE FILMS OF ULRIKE OTTINGER **************

1991, 189 min., Color
A fascinating chronicle of the divided Germany's final days, Ottinger sharply observes the historic transformations taking place and honestly chronicles the remains of the unification process. Shot over the ten-day period leading to the union of the two currencies on July 1, 1990, the film's ten episodes record the people and streets of East and West Berlin.

1989, 165 min., Color
Dubbed a female Lawrence of Arabia, this epic adventure begins when seven western women travelers meet aboard the sumptuous, meticulously reconstructed Trans-Siberian Express, a rolling museum of European culture. Suddenly ambushed by a band of Mongol horsewomen, the company is abducted to the plains of Inner Mongolia only to embark on a fantastic camel ride across the magnificent countryside.

1977, 141 min., Color
In this extravagantly aestheticized, postmodern pirate film Ulrike Ottinger appropriates the male genre for feminist allegory. Madame X - the cruel, uncrowned ruler of the China seas - promises "gold, love, and adventure" to all women who'll leave their humdrum lives behind. Gathered aboard her ship "Orlando," their utopia devolves into betrayal and self-destruction-leading to eventual transformation-as the power games of the outside world are ritualized among the women.

1984, 150 min., Color
In the poses of the dandy and the manufactured excesses of the tabloid press, Ottinger finds connections between our 'fin de siecle' moment and the last one, as well as a way to explore her own obsession with the artifice inherent in cinema and gender presentation. An epic of queer cinema, it is a fitting tribute to Oscar Wilde and an uncanny evocation of our current preoccupation with celebrity and the transgressive possibilities of gender performativity." - Patricia White, Swarthmore College

1979, 108 min., Color
This landmark film explores a complex social and psychological construct of female identity.  Like Ottinger's other bizarrely fabulous films, TICKET OF NO RETURN dives into a world of women in which erotic connections are emphasized.  This particular world includes a chorus of three women named Exact Statistics, Social Question and Common Sense, a bag lady named Lutze, and a cameo by Nina Hagen.

Also part of WMM Cinema Studies Collection are: FILMING DESIRE by Marie Mandy, a bold documentary that asks how do women directors film love, desire, and, especially, sexuality; BEYOND VOLUNTARY CONTROL by Cathy Cook, a poetic film that imaginatively explores the psychological and emotional effects of physical confinement; and THE FILMS OF MARTHA COLBURN, a dazzling collection of experimental shorts that utilize collage images taken from pop culture ephemera, stylishly intermixed with clips of the grotesque.

Please check out our website at for information on these and other titles.  You can also request a copy our 30th Anniversary catalogue or get information on other new releases at

*********** WMM CONTACT & ORDERING INFO ************

For further information on this special offer and ordering information, visit our website at

Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, Suite 502E, New York, NY  10013
P/212.925.0606 x360, F/212.925.2052
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**************** ABOUT WMM *************************

Women Make Movies is a non-profit feminist media organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of films and videos made by and about women. Celebrating our 30th year as the world's largest distributor of films and videos made by and about women, we provide a diverse collection of more than 450 titles to the viewing public and are supported in part by grants from such agencies as the MacArthur Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Our catalogue is used by thousands of educational, community and cultural organizations annually.

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