Ulrike Öttinger Freak Orlando
German filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger blends Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) with Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando (1928) into an excentric roadmovie told in five chapters.
Set in former West Berlin, Ottinger’s uncompromising fantasy explores society’s outsiders in a boundary-breaking cinematic epic of experimentation and visual extravagance. Classified by Ottinger herself as Welttheater (Theatre of the World), Freak Orlando recounts a history of the world, involving the Spanish Inquisition, travelling entertainers, Greek mythology, assorted bodily oddities, and general carnivalesque intrigue. She draws from art and film history, sociology, women’s and gay rights and creates a truly queer exploration of sex, gender and the body.