Ulrike Ottinger’s ironic and operatic reflection on power, the manipulation of the media and identity starring Delphine Seyrig as the scheming Dr Mabuse and star model Veruschka von Lerndorf as the eponymous dandy and Dr Mabuse’s enigmatic victim.
Following the screening Ulrike Ottinger will be in conversation with Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London.
The boss of an international media conglomerate, the scheming Dr Mabuse played by a deliciously malicious Delphine Seyrig thinks up a plan to increase the sales of her newspapers. Her strategy is to create and build up a character that everyone will adore only to later destroy this artificial figure and feed the story of the downfall to her readers. Dorian Gray is her star / victim of choice, who is played by the androgynous star model Veruschka von Lehndorff known for her appearance in Antonioni’s Blow Up. Dr Mabuse takes the narcissistic dandy to the opera, where he falls in love with the singer Andamana, to the press ball and she also introduces him to the underworld. The money is rolling in, but Dorian Gray starts to rebel. In order to stage her futuristic media critique, Ottinger irreverently mixes elements of avant garde art, pop and underground as well as different world cultures creating a wildly imaginative and pleasure-loving piece of low tech sci-fi. Costumes and make-up are fantastic and beautifully underscore Ottinger’s play with gender roles.
West Germany 1984, colour, DCP (35mm), 151 mins, in German and French with English subtitles. Written, directed and produced by Ulrike Ottinger. With Delphine Seyrig, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Tabea Blumenschein, Toyo Tanaka, Irm Hermann, Magdalena Montezuma, Barbara Valentin, and many others.
Ulrike Ottinger will also be present for a conversation following a screening of her film Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia on Sunday 26 January at Ciné Lumière at 2pm. Both screenings are part of a ‘Tribute to Delphine Seyrig – Actress, Director and Activist’ taking place at Ciné Lumière from Sunday 1 December 2019 until Tuesday 4 February 2020.
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(b. 1942) is one of Germany’s most prominent avant-garde artists known for her paintings, photographs and, above all, her fictional and documentary films. Through a surrealist lens, her art work addresses the role of power and its ability to suppress and marginalize difference. Her works are admired for their radical treatment of sexuality and gender and the challenge of traditional role patterns, manifesting itself in strong and exceptional female characters. Acting as writer, director and producer, Ulrike Ottinger has been a strong voice within the Women’s movement for decades.
is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her most recent books are Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries
(Polity 2015) and Feminism and the Politics of Resilience