Madame X

An Absolute Ruler

Germany 1977, 16 mm, color, 141 minutes

On the women's ship Orlando the flags of attack, leather, weapons, lesbian love and death are raised with a beauty which dispenses with a total domination of the viewer's gaze.
The aesthetic is strictly stylized, exhibiting itself without overwhelming us.

Cast & Crew
Madame X Tabea Blumenschein
Noa-Noa Roswitha Janz
Karla Freud-Goldmund Monika von Cube
Blow-up Irena von Lichtenstein
Josephine de Collage Yvonne Rainer
Hoi Sin Hella Utesch
Betty Brillo Lutze
Omega Zentauri La Mona
Orlando Ulrike Ottinger
Flora Tannenbaum Claudia Skoda
Belcampo Mackay Taylor
Moorenhut Jean Matelot
Lady Divine Mireille Wunderly
Passengers and Staff
of the Yacht

Peggy von Schnottgenberg, Jenny Capitain,
Hans-Gebhart von Lenthe, Adelheid Westphal,
Cynthia Beatt
Ulrike Ottinger
Assistant Director Peggy von Schnottgenberg (aka Frank Ripploh), Cynthia Beatt
Assistant Cinematographer Wolfgang Senn
Costume Tabea Blumenschein, Hella Utesch, Claudia Skoda
Make-Up Tabea Blumenschein
Editor Dörte Völz
Sound Montage Ulrike Ottinger
Sound Christian Moldt
Mixing Hans-Dieter Schwarz
Music by Eric Satie, Gioacchino Rossini, Reynaldo Hahn,
Franics Poulenc

Steirischer Herbst 1977, Graz

Filmfestival Rotterdam 1978
Filmfestival Berlin, International Forum 1978
Filmfestival Edinburgh 1978
Locarno 1978
Aperto 80, Biennale di Venezia
Festivals in New Delhi San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago etc.


Karsten Witte, Die Zeit
What makes the film disturbing is that women willingly succumb to the fascination of rituals of power and - in men's imagination - abandon the territory of innocence and the presumption of women's moral superiority, rejecting the gentleness of other women's films, which, like Agnès Varda's last work, promise 'love without cares'. This film shows not a trace of fearfulness. On the contrary, it is calculated to evoke fear in those who put up resistance against the fascination of this ritualized and totally aestheticized power.

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