Retrospective Ulrike Ottinger
Unprecedented full retrospective of the work of Ulrike Ottinger, mostly presented in restored copies. Ottinger starts her cinematic journey in the 1970s. She travels the world in the following decades, interpreting it through her lenses in a radical synthesis of mythology, illusion and realism. Her unique work is adjacent to various contexts: New German Cinema, feminism, the queer movement, postcolonialism. Aside from her films, Ottinger has an extensive photographic work navigating between surrealism and ethnography. In collaboration with Museu do Oriente, Doclisboa also presents an exhibition of photographs taken during her travels in territories such as Eastern Europe, the United States, Mongolia and China.
The filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger will be present at the Festival to accompany the Retrospective.
By juxtaposing footage from Tabu with scenes from her own films, Ottinger creates in Aloha a dialogue between fictional universes separated by time and space. Berlin Fever is an artistic documentation of a happening by Wolf Vostell. The Enchantment of the Blue Sailors is an erotic fable, in which narrative unfolds as a collage, everything is unstable and everyone’s sex is reversed. All “fragments of reality assembled in an unusual manner”.
How does myth influence contemporary life? Jewish culture and its nomadism is a theme that has always attracted Ottinger. Ester is an echo of it. The Korean Wedding Chest is a documentary fairy tale about the Korean society narrated by two giant ginseng roots, husband and wife, becoming human to see “what’s new in the old and old in the new”.
Two expeditions: one takes us to a mysterious land while the other is an inner adventure to the private world of Ottinger. Under Snow, the latest chapter in the director’s exploration of Asia, brings us to Echigo. Still Moving is a singular exhibition in the form of a film, a dedication to her father, a cabinet of wonder: a whole universe on its own.
Two city symphonies, divided by twenty years. In Usinimage, the director juxtaposes documentary footage of Berlin cityscapes and architecture with iconic fragments of her films. Prater is an amusement park in Vienna, which the director explores with her regular collaborators: poet Elfriede Gerstl, writer Elfriede Jelinek, and actress Veruschka.
Allegorical Superbia is a perfect introduction to Ottinger’s fiction films. The Specimen adapts a grotesque story by Soviet writer Valentin Kataev. The director’s first film, Laocoon & Sons, brings us to an imagined land, populated only by women. The maelstrom of images is an exercise in surrealism, a ritual, and an oneiric game. This session is an homage to Ottinger’s fiction universe. “Fairy tales are coming; fairy tales are here to stay”.