Ulrike Ottinger

An original and provocative voice in German cinema since her debut in the mid-1970s, Ulrike Ottinger came to film from painting and photography, well-versed in contemporary feminist theory and criticism. After making several short films, Ottinger immediately asserted her presence with her first feature, "Madame X--An Absolute Ruler" (1977), a bizarre, campy, feminist pirate movie, featuring a spike-fisted, leather-clad dominatrix captain played by underground icon Tabea Blumenschein (who had co-directed one of Ottinger's shorts). Ottinger's other films include "Freak Orlando" (1981), her unforgettable homage to both Tod Browning's classic horror film "Freaks" and Virginia Woolf's experimental novel "Orlando". Continuing her penchant for revision and quotation, she also made "The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press" (1983), in which Oscar Wilde's famous character is played by a woman.

An openly lesbian figure, Ottinger calls for an understanding of the disenfranchised (women, gays, alcoholics, the handicapped, the poor) but, beyond that, she offers a visually enthralling examination of some of the stranger and more wonderful aspects of contemporary popular culture and diverse ethnic cultural heritages.










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