1 Apr 2009

Ulrike Ottinger: Feminist Film Director!

Hello lady readers! Last night Melody Wittgenstein and I made the unfortunate mistake of attending a film directed by the prolific feminist (lesbian) film maker, ze Berliner, Ulrike Ottinger.

Now don't get me wrong, I am all pro expressionism in film, but too much is sometimes too much. Melody had been enjoying the sunshine that day landscaping Nigella Lawson's new patio terrace in Holland Park, so I'm sure you can imagine, being crammed into a cinema with a pile of queer theorists for two and a half hours was quite a shock. To me on the other hand the whole experience was like water to a fish, or so I had thought. For if I were a little salmon I would certainly not swim into those seas occupied by Madame X, the title role of the film' s protagonist pirate.

Apparently according to the site Women Make Movies:

Ottinger achieves her enthralling visual effects through innovative and expressionistic use of costuming, composition, and unusual settings. A versatile talent, she assumes many of the creative and administrative functions on her own films; beyond directing, her credits include that of screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and set designer. She has also worked as a theatre director and ethnographer; her photographs have been exhibited in numerous venues, and she has published several books.

Okay yes it's all very impressive. One woman decides to subvert the didactic norms of feminist film, to complicated notions of beauty and to continue Mulvey's project of disseminating the male gaze. True, the outfits were fab (see below/above etc.) HOWEVER, the plot leaves somewhat to the imagination. Let me set the scene: seven women board a boat and sail away. They are wearing nice dresses on. The end.

I am sorry, but when are feminists going to realise that deconstructing cinema CANNOT GO ON FOR THREE HOURS without a f*****g plot? Needless to say Melody and I had to leave when the cast started reenacting the Freudian exploration of the female subconscience using a large sea bream. I really resent films that force me to leave and make me feel like a philistine. I am very intelligent: how would very thick people cope?

Fine: go and make your arty movies. I on the other hand have far too many important things to do than to indulge your whims on a Tuesday evening. I could have read Middlemarch cover to cover AND The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in that time (the first book ever to tackle the problem of domestic violence in herstory).

Anyway here are some pretty/cool/weird pictures from her films.

She is rather good though. More of her stuff is playing at the BFI, this week.
Bring a strong bottle of scotch and you might get through it and it will make you look rather cool.


No comments:

Post a Comment