Ulrike Ottinger Retrospective:
Freak Orlando

Director: Ulrike Ottinger
West Germany / 1981 / 126 min
In German with English subtitles

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An outrageous, carnivalesque camp reading of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, Ulrike Ottinger’s crazed comedy follows its gender nonconforming hero/heroine through five wide-ranging adventures that span the history of the world: the Freak City department store, medieval times, the Spanish Inquisition, the circus sideshow, and then off on a European tour. With avant-garde star Magdalena Montezuma brilliant in the shape-shifting central role, Ottinger close collaborator Delphine Seyrig as Orlando’s female opposite number (filmmaker Jackie Raynal plays her Siamese twin), and cinema’s greatest transgender Jesus.