Ulrike Ottinger Retrospective:
Prater

Director: Ulrike Ottinger
Austria/Germany / 2007 / 107 min
In German with English subtitles

An anecdotal cultural history of the storied Viennese pleasure garden, whose amusement park Prater, the oldest in the world, provided the scene of the Ferris wheel ride in Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949). Ulrike Ottinger’s beguiling and visually alluring film, years in the making, explores the shifting nature of technological attractions and the Prater’s life in cinema and newsreels, while introducing us to the garden’s visitors. Images of actress Veruschka von Lehndorff wandering the grounds in a Barbarella costume show Ottinger’s surrealist sensibility very much intact, while she connects the Prater’s heyday to that of the freak show and the fairground cinema of attractions.