Rosa von Praunheim's City of Lost Souls
a co-venture with Translady Fanzine
Wednesday, September 28th, 8pm
City of Lost Souls, 1983
(Stadt Der Verlorenen Seelen)
Starring Angie Stardust & Jayne County
A film by Rosa Von Praunheim
535 West 22nd St. 3rd floor
New York, NY 10011
Featuring a complimentary publication with writings by
Bruce Benderson, Jayne County, Joe E. Jeffreys, Amos Mac, Marc Siegel, and Justin Shock.
Angie Stardust has a lot on her plate, running a boarding house called Pension Stardust filled with misfit lodgers: an erotic trapeze duo, a magikal group therapist, assorted layabouts, nymphomaniacs and Lila (Jayne County), a Southern blonde who dreams of Hollywood. These tenants also staff Angie’s fast food enterprise, Burger Queen. But when Lila gets knocked up by a Communist who promises to make her a superstar on East Berlin television, the real havoc ensues. Rosa Von Praunheim directs this mostly American cast in a trans musical spectacular that has been described as “Hedwig and the Angry Inch… in reverse.”
Filmmaker and gay-rights activist Rosa von Praunheim is one of the leading figures in gay and lesbian cinema and New German Cinema, although his deliberately controversial techniques, designed to challenge audiences, have sometimes caused him to be criticized by both gay and anti-gay supporters. Praunheim originally studied painting in Berlin and from there was an assistant for such gay filmmakers as Werner Schroeter and Gregory J. Markopoulous. As a director, he made many underground short films on Super-8 or 16 mm stock before going to work in television where he became known for such genre parodies as Die Bettwurst/The Bedroll (1970).
Von Praunheim made his first gay-themed film, Sisters of the Revolution, in 1969. The film was a three-part look at homosexual participation in the early women’s liberation movement taking place in New York. One of his most influential films was 1970′s made-for-TV outing, It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives, another example of his usage of negative gay stereotypes to politicize their plight and plea for more rights. Not all of von Praunheim’s films focus on homosexuality; some deal with those living on the fringes of society.
Jayne County became rock's first undeniable transgender superstar, influencing acts like David Bowie, The Ramones, Patti Smith, Lou Reed and The Police. Having performed in Warhol's Factory, County became an international sensation with her songs like "Are You Man Enough to be a Woman" and "Fuck Off," appearances in films like Wigstock: The Movie, eventually publishing her autobiography Man Enough To Be A Woman through Serpent's Tail press in 1995.
Angie Stardust (1940 - 2007), née Mel Michaels, was a singer and drag artist who began performing at the age of 14. She was a staple at the Jewel Box Revue in the late 50s and into the 1960s, when she became the first black performer at the 82 Club, which also served as a transitional venue for the rock acts (County, included) who had performed at Max's Kansas City, before the opening of CBGBs. She was fired from the club after it was discovered that she was self-administering female hormones. In 1974 she moved to Hamburg, where she would act in 4 German-language films, eventually opening her own club.
Copies of the first issue of Translady Fanzine featuring artist Zackary Drucker will be on sale before the screening.
The screening will be a part of PPOW's Create Art Today program, organized by director Jamie Sterns.
Dirty Looks is a roaming screening series, a salon of influences, an open platform for inquiry, discussion and debate.
Dirty Looks is:
Director / Bradford Nordeen
Assistant Director / Karl McCool
Associate Director / David Everitt Howe
Design / Deric Carner
Projectionist / Alex Lake
Dirty Looks runs on suggested door donations. Online donations help us to continue our free public programming.