The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 22-28

04/22/2015 9:09 AM |

dorothea's revenge

Dorothea’s Revenge (1974)
Directed by Peter Fleischmann
The 78-year-old German director Fleischmann’s films often focus on social exiles. These works measure the steps people take to fit into groups and reflect on how personal desires lead some to opt out. Fleischmann’s episodic third feature (co-written with Jean-Claude Carrière) focuses on a teenage girl (played by Anna Henkel) in modern Hamburg whose bourgeois life turns disheveled after she is assaulted by a Martian invader and likes it. She feels delight in subsequently staging with friends an amateur epic porn film called The Lexicon of Love. Dorothea’s pleasure eventually shrinks in sexual encounters with middle-aged men who treat her joylessly as an object to be abused; she finds much more happiness among pariahs with whom she senses solidarity, like a prostitute and the resurrected Jesus Christ. Her daily choices contrast with those of her more reserved parents, a mother (Regis Genger) who hides her lovers from view and a father (Günter Thiedeke) who dejectedly watches his canned laughter device factory veer towards bankruptcy. Early on, the patriarch cries, “Laughter and love! Two feelings that are known only to man!” His hopeful daughter devotes herself to embracing humanity, and anyone who wants to partake in it. Aaron Cutler (Apr 24, 10pm; Apr 30, 7:30pm at the Spectacle’s Fleischmann series)