Ulrike Ottinger in Asia – Three Extraordinary Films Set in Asia by Renowned German Filmmaker

Under Snow (Unter Schnee, Germany 2011, 103 min), directed by Ulrike Ottinger, with Takamasa Fujima and Kiyotsugu Fujima.

THE GOETHE-INSTITUT PRESENTS

GOETHE FILMS MARCH 2018

 ULRIKE OTTINGER IN ASIA

THREE EXTRAORDINARY FILMS SET IN ASIA BY RENOWNED GERMAN FILMMAKER ULRIKE OTTINGER

MARCH 1, MARCH 6, AND MARCH 8, 2018 AT TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

The Goethe-Institut of Toronto proudly presents ULRIKE OTTINGER IN ASIA, a series of prominent films of Asian influence by a leader in German avant-garde film, Ulrike Ottinger. Co-presented by Inside Out, MUFF Society & Reel Asian Film Festival, these outstanding and thought-provoking films, JOANNA D’ARC OF MONGOLIA (1989), EXILE SHANGHAI (1997) and UNDER SNOW (2011), follow women in Mongolia, exiles in Shanghai, and Kabuki artists in Japan, respectively. The films will screen at TIFF Bell Lightbox, March 1, March 6, and March 8, 2018.

This carefully curated collection of films influenced by a life-long fascination with Asia and based on a career spanning five decades, showcase Ulrike Ottinger’s adventurous curiosity and unique poetic imagery. To date, Ottinger has directed 24 films, including feature-length fictions and experimental documentaries. Her films are held up for their radicalism, not only in their narrative and global outlook, but also in their treatment of sexuality and gender, confirming her position as one of Germany’s seminal queer, feminist filmmakers.

“An icon and cultural and emancipatory inspiration in the German film scene” – Berlinale 2012 Special Teddy Award

ULRIKE OTTINGER IN ASIA lineup:

UNDER SNOW directed by Ulrike Ottinger

Canadian Premiere, (Germany 2011, 103 min)

March 1, 6:30PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox, co-presented by the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Toronto Japanese Film Festival

In Echigo, Japan, snow piles up meters-high and blankets the countryside and villages well into the month of May. The people have developed customs for their unusual daily life. Time follows a different rhythm: children build fanciful snow castles in which they cook and sing, the women weave crepe in colourful patterns. In order to record their very distinctive forms of everyday life, their festivals and religious rituals, Ulrike Ottinger journeyed to the mythical snow country – accompanied by two Kabuki performers.

EXILE SHANGHAI directed and written by Ulrike Ottinger

(Germany/Israel 1997, 275 min)

March 6, 6:30PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox, co-presented by the Toronto Jewish Film Society

“Fascinating and rich with dry humour, EXILE SHANGHAI is an extraordinary cultural odyssey that affectionately conjures up the lost Jewish world of Shanghai, the most fabulous city of the Far East.” (Berlinale)

Six life stories of German, Austrian and Russian Jews intersect in exile in Shanghai. This powerful documentary traces their lives through narratives, photographs, documents and new images of one of Asia’s biggest metropolises. With their numerous contradictory conflicting histories and populations, this film depicts a startling new account of a historic exile.

JOHANNA D’ARC OF MONGOLIA directed by Ulrike Ottinger

(Germany 1989, 165 min)

March 8, 6:30PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Winner of multiple awards, and a recent special screening at the MoMA, this strikingly original film follows a group of Western women who are taken hostage by the exotic, fierce Mongolian princess Ulan Iga. While the harshness of the Mongolian high desert is initially a trial for the pampered women, they ultimately adapt to these unfamiliar yet exhilarating experiences.

Accompanied by:

ULRIKE OTTINGER: NOMAD FROM THE LAKE directed by Brigitte Kramer

(Germany 2012, 86 min)

March 1, 9PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox, co-presented by Hot Docs

Ulrike Ottinger’s career begins with her creative roots in her home town on Lake Constance at the German-Swiss-Austrian border. Describing key moments in her life, including the impact of student protests in Paris and her move from painting to filmmaking, Brigitte Kramer traces Ottinger’s artistic development. Through interviews and film excerpts, this intimate personal close-up portrays one of the most important voices in German film.

Artist and filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger has been a unique and provocative voice in German cinema since her debut in the early 1970s. Ottinger writes her own scripts, frequently operates the camera and even designs the often elaborate sets and lavish costumes showcased in her films. Ottinger has worked in photography throughout her career as an artist. Her other films in Asia include “China. The Arts – The People” (1985), “Taiga” (1991/1992), “Seoul Women Happiness” (2008) and “The Korean Wedding Chest” (2008). In 2011, Ottinger’s creative output was celebrated in two major solo exhibitions and retrospectives of her films; she also received the Hannah Höch and the Berlinale Special Teddy Queer Film Award 2012. She is currently working on her next film “Paris Calligrammes”, slated for 2018.

About the GOETHE-INSTITUT:

The Goethe-Institut programs and presents the latest arts and ideas from Germany. The Institut actively promotes an ongoing dialogue and exchange between Canadian and German artists and experts and brings the best in contemporary German culture, seen through a global lens and across the genres. www.goethe.de/toronto/events

Ranging from features to docs, shorts to animation, drama to comedy, the experimental to international festival highlights from Berlin, Leipzig or Oberhausen, the GOETHE FILMS series offers film lovers the opportunity to see a top selection of German contemporary arthouse film in Toronto’s premier cinema. www.goethe.de/canada/germanfilm

Tickets for ULRIKE OTTINGER IN ASIA are $10 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in person or by phone (day-of sales only) or online (as of 1 week prior to screening). For more details click here.

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