Senin, 21 Maret 2011
Rosa von Praunheim - Neurosia - 50 Jahre pervers AKA Neurosia - Who Shot Rosa von Praunheim (1995)
Neurosia is the autobiography of the director Rosa von Praunheim. The movie begins with Rosa presenting his autobiography in a movie theater. Before the film begins, he is shot. But - his body gets lost. A female journalist from a TV station begins researching the life of Rosa. In the course of the movie she speaks to lots of aquaintances, shows short clips from Rosas old movies. Her main aim is to provide sensational and shocking details from Rosas life. It turns out that nearly everybody had some reason to kill Rosa. At the end of the movie, she discovers Rosa at a boat where he is kept prisoner by some of his old enemies. She frees him, and the movie ends.
Long before 'mockumentaries' such as '"The Blair Witch Project" became all the rage, the adventurous and outrageous Rosa von Praunheim, neither a woman nor from Praunheim (a Frankfurt suburb), but rather a prolific Berlin film maker made them, and well, and for even smaller budgets. NEUROSIA is his third (to my knowledge). The comparison with "Blair Witch" ends here. While neither mockumentary fails to shock its target audience, the two audiences are quite diverse. Von Praunheim's films are not for American teenie-boppers. In fact, few of the activities shown in his films are legal, for those under or over 21, in most of the 50 United States. His oeuvre is a collection of rather extreme, militant, and irreverent gay films including a few mockumentaries. NEUROSIA remains his best one in my opinion, though his previous part-mock, part-real biography of legendary East Berlin transsexual Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (ICH BIN MEINE EIGENE FRAU. I'm My Own Woman) is also a cult favorite. Von Praunheim's style has been described by serious American critics (check the cover of Amazon.com's video if you don't believe me) as the German John Waters or the thin'n'queer Orson Welles. Some also agree that NEUROSIA is the most entertaining film of von Praunheim's career. German comedy (of any type) seldom travels well, but NEUROSIA is the rare exception. As the name implies, it is the work of a neurotic, and best appreciated by neurotics, who are also well-versed followers of the gay movement from the mid 70s to the mid 90s, two decades when Berlin and New York were very much in synch in pop culture, hence this film's particular allure for New Yorkers and others from Western capitals with similar sex/drugs/etc. scenes. In NEUROSIA, von Praunheim is supposedly murdered while hosting his own 50th birthday party. A very brave tabloid reporter (Desiree Nick) searches for the motive, and in so doing explores the mostly seedy side of the gay world from Berlin's orgy palaces to New York's sex clubs and parks, revealing very real slices of German and American queer history, including Anita Bryant's "at least it was a fruit pie" cake in her face during one of her Christian crusades to Save Our Children and Save the Homosexuals from their Sins. If any of this sounds appealing, you'll love NEUROSIA. If it hasn't, I'm surprised you're still reading, but nevertheless, skip it. The film is great, but for a very specific audience.