Movie Diary 1/26/2022

Ticket of No Return (Ulrike Ottinger, 1979). This was on the Criterion Channel, and I’d never seen it. The surreal chic on display must’ve been amusing coming in the teeth of the other West German cinema emerging in the 70s, as it threads a needle between Fellini, agitating avant-garde theater, and what would become the “cinema du look.” Ottinger follows an elegant, unspeaking drunkard (Tabea Blumenschein) as she moves through West Berlin, rubbing elbows with various strata of denizens and breaking glasses along the way. Seems like something that probably moved around the international film-festival circuit a lot, where people could either shake their heads at the preciousness of it all or just groove on all the pretty nonsense. There are cameo appearances by Nina Hagen and Eddie Constantine.

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