Monday 4 January 2010

Doris Dorrie (b. 1955)

Doris Dörrie was born in 1955 in Hanover. She attended drama, acting, and film at University of the Pacific in Stockton, and the School for Social Research in New York (1973-75) after graduating from high school.

Like Wenders, she was a student at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich. Her first feature Straight through the Heart in 1983 was followed by Im Innern des Wals 1984. Her biggest success and the kickstart of her career was Männer.../ Men..., released in 1985 - a national and international successs.
Some said that Rainer Werner Fassbinder's death in 1982 was the end of the New German Cinema, others say it was the release of Doris Dörrie's comedy.

In any case, the mid-80s marked a clear shift from the aims and goals of the New German Cinema towards a more entertaining and commercially succesful form of filmmaking. Men.. was filmed on tight budget of $400,000. The twenty initial prints were soon expanded to 230 and Men... became the first major box office success for a female director from Germany since the 60s. It actually became the most successful German film of 1986 with five million admissions in Germany and six million worldwide.

Margarethe von Trotta's Rosa Luxemburg, released in the same year, received the Best Film award in Cannes. It had a total audience of 519,000. Men... opened in New York and made $ 10 million.

Following her success with Men..., she released Paradies/Paradise in 1986 and Me and Him in 1989 (which went straight to video). Happy Birthday, Türke opened in 1992. It is based on a novel by Jakob Arjouni who since then has released a trilogy of novels focusing on a Turkish private eye working in Frankfurt/Main, encountering daily racism and xenophobia. The wonderful Nobody Loves Me (1994) won the Film Strip in Gold at the German Film Awards for Maria Schrader (who became more famous with Aimee and Jaguar) and was followed by the episodic Bin ich schön? / Am I Beautiful in 1998.

Doris Dörrie has filmed all her feature films with the same crew. Her husband and cameraman, Helge Weindler, died of cancer in 1996 while shooting Bin ich schön?.

Her latest North American release is Enlightenment Guaranteed, somewhat of a sequel to her biggest success, a Men II.... Uwe Ochsenknecht, Heiner Lauterbach, and Ulrike Kriener are back to face their (mid-life) crises in the new millenium.

Doris Dörrie is also well-known as a writer of short stories and novels. Some of her movies are based on her fiction.

source: Dept of Germanic and Russian Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

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In this blog I intend to do some historical justice to the many, many women who have contributed with their genius, creativity, adventurous spirit, nurturing - amongst other qualities - to the apparent linear and male dominated prescribed notion of History. This is just the beggining.