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Fräulein Berlin (1984)

Berlin Underground-star Ulrike S. went to the Toronto-Filmfestival and then to New York - to find out something about the film business and also about her own desires, daydreams and nightmares.



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Credited cast:
Ulrike Schirm ...
Fräulein Berlin (as Ulrike S.)
Helke Sander
Bette Gordon
Fredericke Menche
Hans Dieter Frankenberg
Stefan Menche
Roland Stoos
Erika Rabau
Camila Mora-Scheihing ...
(as Camila Mora)
Dorothea Moritz
Alan Rosenthal
Jim Jarmusch
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tim Burns
Carina Conti


Berlin Underground-star Ulrike S. went to the Toronto-Filmfestival and then to New York - to find out something about the film business and also about her own desires, daydreams and nightmares.

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Release Date:

4 April 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Fröken Berlin  »

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User Reviews

11 July 1999 | by (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This (very) low budget film is certainly not for all tastes; it is a film you either can open up for, or dismiss from the start. What we see is not a linear story, but the images and sound of Fräulein Berlin's experiences of what is happening with and around her. Whether it was shortage of money, done on purpose or just by accident, I do not know, but this film-sensual underground film with its granular and sometimes out of focus and thereby dreamlike image and a-synchronous sound is rewarding viewing, though it should have been much shorter: Lambert was probably too much in love with the results to have the courage to cut some of the boring parts, as he keeps repeating scenes which do not add much: another fortune-teller, another talk with her agent, the S&M fight that never seems to end, etc. He makes excellent use of Ulrike S. photogenic appearance.

The fascination with American culture and particularly its film industry is a leading thread in the German cinema (industry) since the beginning of cinema and this underground film is no exception. It shows underground actress Fräulein Berlin (played by the Ulrike S.) trying her luck first in Toronto meeting Norman Jewison and then in New York meeting Jim Jarmush; all she gets are empty promises. The film also painfully shows that she is not treated - neither by the industry nor her American boy-friend - as a woman, but primarily as a German woman. In a park a man masturbates while she is singing in German the song "Lili Marleen": it is the connotation with the German language that excites him.

But Lambert is not too friendly to the established German culture as well. Fräulein Berlin is not very welcome to the cultural events of the high-brow Goethe institute; she is not asked for a part by any other director than the exploitative one she has worked with.

It has a nice soundtrack with songs accentuating the mood the protagonist is in. When she has enough of New York and says to herself "Scheiß Amerika", the song "Who wants to be a millionaire?" from High Society is heard "True Love" from the same film is heard when she makes love to her boy-friend. These tracks and other ones show Lambert's fascination with the American film industry and his ambivalence towards it.

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