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Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

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European Film  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  

In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden (In a Year of 13 Moons, 1978), explores issues of sexual identity and the familiar Fassbinder theme of the "outsider among outsiders" in the story of Elvira, a male-to-female who, in the last few days before her suicide, decides to visit some of the important people and places in her life. In a virtuosic sequence, Elvira wanders through the slaughterhouse where she worked as Erwin, recounting her history amidst the carnage. Filmed in the aftermath of the suicide of Fassbinder's estranged lover, the work is an unrelenting, emotionally candid, and profoundly personal study of the human quest for love, approval, and acceptance.

Fassbinder's best-known homoerotic work is his final film Querelle (1982), adapted from the Jean Genet novel Querelle de Brest. The film, a fetishized, flamboyant examination of the various forms of love and sexuality, concerns a young sailor (played by the American actor Brad Davis) discovering his homosexuality. In the first of several erotically charged scenes, Querelle purposely loses a bet and allows himself to be sodomized by the husband of the local brothel owner. To tell his story, Fassbinder utilized such archetypal gay imagery as leather-clad men and debauched sailors in white uniforms, and a self-consciously stylized landscape of phallic architecture.

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Fassbinder died in 1982 of an overdose of sleeping pills and cocaine.

Another prolific filmmaker of the New German Cinema with a highly individualized style is Rosa von Praunheim (born Holger Mischwitzky). He chose the name Rosa as an allusion to the pink triangle ("rosa Winkel") that homosexuals were forced to wear in the Nazi concentration camps.

Beginning his career in the late 1960s, von Praunheim developed a confrontational approach to filmmaking, offering little comfort to spectators and explicitly disavowing inspirational or optimistic treatments of gay life. He has been quoted as saying, "I don't want audiences at my movies to have a good time, I want them to be upset."

In 1971, von Praunheim gained notoriety, and created controversy, throughout Germany with his film Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt (It is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, but the Society in Which He Lives, 1971). The appearance of this film has been cited as crucial to the founding of the new German gay rights movement. His film Armee der Liebenden oder Revolte der Perversen (Army of Lovers or Revolution of the Perverts, 1979) documents the American gay and lesbian rights movement from the 1950s to 1976.

With the black comedy, Ein Virus kennt keine Moral (A Virus Knows No Morals, 1985), von Praunheim made one of the earliest feature films about AIDS. He subsequently directed a trilogy of films about AIDS and AIDS activism: Positiv (Positive), Schweigen = Tod (Silence = Death), and Feuer unterm Arsch (Fire Under Your Ass), all made in 1990.

In 1992, he directed the life story of the East German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, Ich bin meine eigene Frau (I Am My Own Woman), employing both documentary footage and recreations utilizing actors. Vor Transsexuellen wird gewarnt (Transsexual Menace, 1996), originally made for German television, documents the community.

The gay sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld is the focus of Der Einstein des Sex (The Einstein of Sex, 1999). Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? (1999), a 30-minute comedy, stars the gay pornography icon Jeff Stryker.

Frank Ripploh is another gay German filmmaker whose work has courted controversy. Ripploh achieved international art-house success with his first feature film Taxi zum Klo (Taxi to the Loo, 1981), an explicit account of the director's own sexual escapades and fantasies. He returned to the same milieu several years later with Taxi nach Kairo (Taxi to Cairo, 1987), in which the main character's mother threatens to disinherit him if he does not settle down and marry. Ripploh died in 2002 at the age of 52.

Director Wolfgang Peterson first gained recognition for his film Die Konsequenz (The Consequence, 1977), an understated and unsentimental coming-out story that he co-wrote as well as directed. Peterson went on to earn international acclaim for Das Boot (The Boat, 1981), a wartime drama about a German U-Boat crew. He subsequently relocated to California, where he has since directed a number of mainstream Hollywood films.

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