Rosa vonPraunheim

Active - 1969 - 2015  |   Born - Nov 25, 1942 in Riga, Latvia  |   Genres - Film, TV & Radio [nf], Avant-garde / Experimental, Culture & Society [nf], Comedy, History [nf]

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Filmmaker and gay-rights activist Rosa von Praunheim is one of the leading figures in gay and lesbian cinema and New German Cinema, although his deliberately controversial techniques, designed to challenge audiences, have sometimes caused him to be criticized by both gay and anti-gay supporters. Praunheim originally studied painting in Berlin and from there was an assistant for such gay filmmakers as Werner Schroeter and Gregory J. Markopoulous. As a director, he made many underground short films on Super-8 or 16 mm stock before going to work in television where he became known for such genre parodies as Die Bettwurst/The Bedroll (1970). Von Praunheim made his first gay-themed film, Sisters of the Revolution, in 1969. The film was a three-part look at homosexual participation in the early women's liberation movement taking place in New York. One of his most influential films was 1970's made-for-TV outing Homosexuelle ist Pervers, Sondern die Situation, in der Er Lebt/It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverted, But the Situation in Which He Lives, another example of his usage of negative gay stereotypes to politicize their plight and plea for more rights. Not all of Von Praunheim's films focus on homosexuality; some deal with those living on the fringes of society.

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