It was almost seven years ago that the work of a Berlin-based filmmaker changed the way I watched films entirely. There was a big retrospective at the Arsenal and I was extremely curious to discover someone whose films had labels like “women’s film” “art film” “queer cinema” and “independent director” attached to them. I had seen images of wild costumes, extravagant make-up, outlandish performers and fantastic imagery before I had actually seen the films they were taken from. Of all the magical hours I had spent getting sucked into this mad universe, one film had stayed with me the most. It is called Freak Orlando and its director is a true artist and can be best described as an untamed magician: Ulrike Ottinger.
I was on a fishing boat when I lost track of time and space. The dark swallowed me and night turned into day. I didn’t know whether I was sick or healthy, dreaming or working, whether I was hallucinating or wide awake. I became one with the ocean and its creatures which I killed every day. Its ghosts followed me from above and beyond, from up and down, from inside the water, and inside the boat. I had met Leviathan.