Film Screening & Conversation Ulrike Ottinger - Freak Orlando + Screentalk

open roof top space with glas cealing and a carnevalesque crowd celebrating © Ulrike Ottinger

Wed, 05.06.2024

6:30 PM

Barbican Cinema 2

Film Screening & Conversation

Ulrike Ottinger’s unforgettably bold and bizarre take on Virginia Woolf’s gender-changing hero has to be seen to be believed. See it and stay for a ScreenTalk with Ulrike Ottinger, hosted by Professor Rosalind Galt.

Please follow the link on the side of the page to book your tickets via the Barbican website. 

Years before Sally Potter’s Orlando and Paul B. Preciado’s Orlando, My Political Biography came queer icon Ulrike Ottinger’s wild, sprawling interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s gender-changing time traveller, Orlando, played by cult actor Magdalena Montezuma. Alongside residents of so-called ‘Freak City’, Orlando bounces from a modern department store to the Middle Ages to the Spanish Inquisition, encountering weird and wonderful characters on the way.

The film came at the beginning of a wave of queer cinema works made in the last decade of West Germany’s existence. Ottinger’s work with a variety of unconventional actors, the depiction of disabilities and the diversity of the human form, continues to be provocative to this day. It invites us to challenge our own ways of thinking about Queerness and the way we live and conceive it.

West Germany 1981, colour, 126min. With English subititles.
Directed by Ulrike Ottinger. With Magdalena Montezuma, Delphine Seyrig, Albert Heins, Claude Pantoja, Hiro Uschiyama, Galli, Eddie Constantine, Else Nabu, Therese Zemp, and many more.

Jointly presented by the Barbican and  the Goethe-Institut London. Part of the Barbican Series Queer 80s - Cinema on the Brink of Global Change, Wed 5 —Wed 26 Jun 2024.

Rosalind Galt is a Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London. Her recent books include Alluring Monsters: the Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization (2021) and Queer Cinema in the World (2016), co-authored with Karl Schoonover.