In modern-day Berlin (1987), Frau Kutowski goes insane, believing herself to be the (real-life) notorious Anita Berber, a nude art dancer/drug addict/scandalous figure of post-WWI Berlin. (... See full summary »
In modern-day Berlin (1987), Frau Kutowski goes insane, believing herself to be the (real-life) notorious Anita Berber, a nude art dancer/drug addict/scandalous figure of post-WWI Berlin. (Berber died of tuberculosis in 1928, having achieved significant success and recognition throughout the dance world.) Frau Kutowski is placed in a mental hospital, where in her own mind she acts out Berber's final days, including in her fantasies the hospital's staff and patients, to represent Anita's friends and associates. She relives the adventures, scandals, triumphs, trials and tribulations of Anita Berber, and finally merges her own real existence with that of her imagination, until fantasy actually becomes reality. The film makes use of both color (Expressionist style) and black & white (documentary style) to draw the line between fantasy and reality, respectively. Watch how this line is crossed over! Written by
Reclaiming the word vice as a glorious vision splendid , Anita (subtitled Dances of Vice) is a triumph of pleasure and madness over the restraints of society. The film traces the claims of a woman named Frau Kutowski - imprisoned in an institution - to be the lush, sexually scandalous, famous nude star of the early twentieth century Anita Berber. Its an eruption of a movie, flicking between the dour black and white present and the fantastic colour of the past (an interesting reversal of the flashback device). In a neat twist the past is populated with figures tending Kutowski in the present (the nurse is Anita in the past, the doctor is her gay suitor ). This is an inventive and liberated movie offering a dazzling array of colour, costumes and sets along with sexual displays and lewd nude dancing. When Sebastian does his nude dance its an eyeful indeed! This is a great film from the noted political animal and longtime activist Rosa Von Praunheim. There is also a documentary on Lottie Huber available - she plays Frau Kutowski - which is worth seeking out.
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