Christoph Schlingensief

Christoph Schlingensief – Mutters Maske AKA Mother’s Mask (1988)

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Mutters Maske aka Mother’s Mask is a free adaptation of the film Opfergang (1944) aka The Great Sacrifice of Veit Harlan.

Schlingensief exposes his source material’s dangerous proximity to kitsch and camp by reducing the genre conventions known from Harlan, Sirk, Fassbinder & Co to the level of a daily soap: set within a noble family from the German Ruhr, Schlingensief’s story revolving about Willy von Mühlenbeck’s tragic love to terminally ill neighbor girl Äls (Susanne Bredehöft) and the inheritance intrigues by his evil brother Martin von Mühlenbeck (Helge Schneider) creaks with melodramatic devices and self-conscious dialogues. Rather than being a mere spoof, “Mother’s Mask” is perhaps Schlingensief’s purest black comedy. Read More »

Christoph Schlingensief – Das Deutsche Kettensägen Massaker AKA The German Chainsaw Massacre (1990)

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Sounding like some cheap pastiche, The German Chainsaw Massacre comes as a surprisingly independent feature, able to stand on it’s own without the crutch of it’s predecessor. However, Tobe Hooper’s movie is not so much tipped and winked as screamed in the face of in this relentless madness and more specifically in a similarly edited chainsaw chase through a forest. Choosing to loosen Hooper’s tight bolts of ‘humour’, Schlingensief loses dramatic intensity but gains an awesome sense of the egregious: unemployed customs officials form appalling folk groups at the West/East border and a woman with a knife up her butt sits down… Read More »