Ulrike Ottinger: Berlin Trilogy
Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse (Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press)
dir. Ulrike Ottinger, West Germany, 1984, DCP, German w/ English subtitles, 150 min.
A media conspiracy as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, Frau Dr. Mabuse intends to create and ultimately destroy the perfect celebrity, all in the name of profit. The dreamlike Dorian Gray moves beyond mere media critique into a full-fledged tragic-comedy opera of Western society’s greatest flaws.
Ulrike Ottinger is a prolific German filmmaker who started her visual art career in Munich and Paris working in painting, photography, and performance. After relocating to Berlin in the early 1970s, she transitioned to filmmaking. Her “Berlin Trilogy” began with Ticket of No Return (1979), followed by Freak Orlando (1981), and Dorian Gray in the Mirror of the Yellow Press (1984). Collaborating on the films were Delphine Seyrig, Magdalena Montezuma, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Eddie Constantine, and Kurt Raab, as well as the composer Peer Raben. These three films demonstrate Ottinger’s unique approach to filmmaking, drawing from her experience with performance art—merging social critique with surrealist sci-fi fantasy.