Dec 17, 2012

Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity

New German cinema spawned a lot of full-fledging, and oftentimes faggy, narcissists, but hysterical homo-supremacist Rosa von Praunheim (The Einstein of Sex: Life and Work of Dr. M. Hirschfeld, Men, Heroes, and Gay Nazis) – the uncrowned queen of queer low-kitsch and flaunting big dicks – indubitably takes the cum-layered cake for being the most conceited cocksucker if there ever was one. Unlike his enemy Rainer Werner Fassbinder and their mutual friend Werner Schroeter – both of whom also played for the pink team, if not more reservedly so – von Praunheim directs films that almost exclusively focus on himself and his own sexual vice (with a couple of fierce females thrown in for good measure), so much so that his mission has been to not only offend those horrid heteros, but also his fellow gays, in part due to his incessant propagandizing of AIDS-related and safe-sex (i.e. pro-condom) issues as a sort of self-pointed fag Führer of the exceedingly embarrassing and annoying sort. With his early and unintentionally hilarious and ludicrous campy docudrama and virtual poofer political manifesto It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971), von Praunheim – then only a princess of priss and pestering – demanded that young homos get out of the tearoom and leather fag bar and take to the streets to unite with their eternal enemy, lily-licking lesbos, along with other marginalized groups (i.e. non-whites) as is quite the norm today in U.S.A., and to demand politics power and representation. Again, in the early 1990s after directing one of the first films about AIDS A Virus Knows No Morals (1985), prancing Praunheim took to the streets of NYC demanding recognition of the AIDS epidemic among gays and directed a gay cancer trilogy (Positive, Silence = Death, Fire Under Your Ass). Von Praunheim also proved his propensity towards putrid pomposity in 1991 by “outing” and wrongly outing various German celebrities on the TV show Explosiv - Der heiße Stuhl as hidden homos. Of course, no one probably knows his intrinsic negligent narcissism and pestiferous perversity better than Rosa von Praunheim himself as depicted in his manic mockumentary Neurosia - 50 Jahre pervers (1995) aka Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity; a largely autobiographical work that was advertised with the relatively reasonable plea of puffery: “John Waters meets Orson Welles in this gay Citizen Kane!

Who Shot Rosa von Praunheim? or so drives the mystery behind Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity; a work that also acts as a saucy and sadistic summary of the decidedly depraved director's life and filmmaking career up until that point. Indeed, it is easy to see how after imploring an audience at the premiere of his new film to, “excuse me for my fame. Excuse me for my beauty. Excuse me for my artistic talent,” one would want to do devastating bodily harm to Rosa von Praunheim and thereupon put an end to his aberrant art and broadcasted self-worship, so it should be no surprise that the suspects of the shooting are wide and vast and personal and impersonal. Another problem arises when the self-deprecating yet self-deceiving dick-sucking director’s body goes immediately missing after the shooting, thus giving Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity the feel of a sordid yet significantly satirical political-thriller. In the rather unlikely tradition of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941), a sleazy homo-hating TV journalist named Gesine Ganzmann-Seipel (played by Désirée Nick, German Roman Catholic theologian, cabaret artist, comedian, actress, and mother to a bastard son of Prince Heinrich Julius of Hanover) to dig up the dookie-covered scoop on von Praunheim’s positively perverse personal life, henceforth steadfastly scouring the terribly tainted “blood and sperm” of his troubled STD-ridden romances, atypical artistic relationships, and the infinite reasons why the world hates the AIDS-absorbed anarchic auteur of morally and aesthetically bankrupt lunatic lechery. As a manic mensch who admitted to being sexually aroused by and attempting to seduce his own father as a boy, found his first true love while giving away tricks in a turd-tinged tearoom, directed quasi-pornographic films using burn victims, forced his poor students to film him having sex with men while acting as a guest film professor for a San Francisco-based workshop he 'taught' in 1977, married a beautiful woman solely to receive a 15,000 mark government subsidy given to German newlyweds so he could fund his first films, and a sexual maniac who earned the title of “Traitor of the Year” in a prominent German newspaper Bunde, it is no surprise that Gesine discovers a letter written sent to von Praunheim stating: “To the chief of the gay and lesbian sows and swine…in Berlin, Rosa von Praunheim. You damned gay and lesbian swine…are due for slaughter. It’s your fault that people…are due for slaughter. It’s your fault that people…are infected with the AIDS disease…due to your ass-fucking and so on. We’re almost…the same as the SS under our idea, Adolph Hitler. Such as you must be 100% gassed to death.” Of course, Fräulein Gesine discovers a lot more unflattering things about von Praunheim, not least of all his savage sodomite sexual spirit and apparently rectum-ripping member (not that he does not expose it a number of times in the film), his vehement verbal fag-bashing of fellow flaming fairies, and – most of all – his mind-numbingly nauseating narcissism. Needless to say, although Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity purports to being a biting satire of the asshole-assaulting auteur, the film also acts as the perfect publicity for his career and a virtual advertisement for his more memorable cinematic works, including appearances from actors and excerpts from Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971), Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts (1979), Horror Vacui (1984), and A Virus Knows No Morals (1985), among a number of others.

 Naturally, a lot has changed in Rosa von Praunheim’s life since the release of Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity, not the least of all the life-changing revelation that the mother who thought he needed counseling to cure his gayness and the father he always wanted to fuck were not really his biological parents at all after his then 94-year-old adoptive mother, Gertrud Mischwitzky, finally told him the tormenting truth in 2000. Since then, von Praunheim has directed the documentary Two Mothers (2007) aka Meine Mütter - Spurensuche in Riga which revealed that he was born in a prison that his birth mother – who was fond of black market goods and sexy SS commanders – was imprisoned in and that his real father may have been a notorious Nazi photographer. They say hysterical women produce hysterical homos, so it should be no surprise that von Praunheim’s Nazi nympho harlot of a mother inevitably had a mental breakdown and was institutionalized where she died under dubious circumstances not much later.  Additionally, for all of his hating of National Socialism, I think that is quite likely that Ms. von Praunheim would have been a beer-boozing and cum-guzzling SA brownshirt had he lived during the era leading up to the Third Reich because like the the avant-gay auteur, the leaders of the Sturmabteilung, including the leader and co-founder Ernst Röhm and his poofer pretty boy deputy Edmund Heines, enjoyed fighting in the streets and brutal barebacking, so much so that homosexual Jewish-German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (who, incidentally is a hero of von Praunheim's, to the extent that he directed the biopic The Einstein of Sex in tribute) apparently had a number of incriminating medical dossiers on the National Sodomites. Of course, von Praunheim also went on to direct the documentary Men, Heroes, and Gay Nazis to expose the hidden history of homo Hitlerites, as well as contemporary leather Führers and head-giving skinheads. Needless to say, with all of von Praunheim's cinematic excursions in erotic eccentricity and crude camp carnality, it is about time that he updates Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity; a work that – although making for the perfect introduction to the flaming filmmaker's curiously quaint and queer oeuvre – now seems quite outrageously outmoded.  After all, at the time of filming Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity, von Praunheim only had 60+ friends who died of AIDS and had yet to make a film (Your Heart in My Head (2005)) about cock-chomping cannibals.  That being said, maybe the fierce fudge-packing filmmaker should wait until he acquires AIDS before revamping Neurosia: 50 Years of Perversity, but then again, Rosa von Praunheim is no Derek Jarman.

-Ty E

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