A series of tableaux illustrating the life and death of a celebrated 19th century German opera singer. Each tableau has a different motif, and each comes across with a decadent romanticism that lies somewhere between the Pre-Raphaelites and a quick flick through the pages of a ‘40s copy of Vogue. Schroeter’s film is a delight to the eye – rich, strange and perverse. —TimeOut
Werner Schroeter (born 7 April 1945, Georgenthal, Thuringia) is a German film director and screenwriter, considered one of the most important of his country in the post-war period. He has also worked in film as a producer, cinematographer, editor and actor. In the later function he appeared in several films directed by his friend Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including Beware of a Holy Whore (1971), and a number of theatre productions.
His 1980 film Palermo oder Wolfsburg, telling the story of a Sicilian guest worker in Germany, won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, while his 1991 production Malina was entered into that year’s Cannes Film Festival.
In the 1960s, Schroeter worked with Rosa von Praunheim, who is also gay. Schroeter has also worked as a theater and opera director, in Germany and elsewhere. In the late 1970s Schroeter met the Irish Artist Reginald Gray at a collection of Yves St.Laurent in Paris. Gray painted a portrait of Schroeter. —Wikipedia
Overripe, over-rich, and overwrought; and yet, and yet, and yet. I want to call this beautiful mutation an avant-kitsch extravaganza, but I regret the laziness of the appellation. At times, as so often with Schroeter, the film feels like an extended, ungainly music video in which the synching wanders in and out of true, enacting and inciting the delirium of desire always just under the surface of opera and artifice.