Mar 14, 2013

Rote Sonne


Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get a penetrating and somewhat metapolitical understanding of the drug-addled minds, degenerate souls, and dispiriting spirits of the overzealous zeitgeist that sired counter-culture movements, second-wave feminism, would-be-hip hippie bastards, cultural Marxism, kosher cosmopolitanism, and virtually every other anti-Occidental trend that hit Europe and North America during the late-1960s is by viewing ostensibly ‘revolutionary’ cinematic works from this thankfully bygone era, which, when feeling rather masochistic, I do from time to time. Recently, I decided to watch the West German flick Rote Sonne (1969) aka Red Sun after learning it was a feminist science fiction film that was promoted with the outwardly titillating tagline: “Frei, wild, cool und tödlich” (free, wild, cool and deadly). Directed by Southern kraut auteur Rudolf Thome (Supergirl – Das Mädchen von den Sternen, Tarot) – a filmmaker who has been described as “the German Eric Rohmer” and who, like his cinematic compatriots Peter Nestler, Eckhart Schmidt, Max Zihlmann, and Klaus Lemke, belonged to the so-called "New Munich Group"; a collective of closely related “cinephiles” and documentarians who were unassociated with and ultimately eclipsed by filmmakers of the New German Cinema – Rote Sonne is a genre conscious yet audaciously antagonistic celluloid work that is more of dystopian anti-sci-fi flick that, whether intentional or not on the director’s part (most people believe the work to be a genuine ‘feminist film’), makes for a fabulous farce of feminism as opposed to a special-effects-driven celluloid manifesto that argues for so-called gender equality that one would expect from such a seemingly wretched work. Described by internationally renowned German auteur Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire) in the January 1970 issue of Filmkritik in the following manner, “Red Sun is one of the rarest kind among European cinema - one that doesn't imitate American cinema. In the Red Sun the actors always talk like they wouldn't need to bother about the story of the movie. They are just boldly present in the scene, talking and acting as if they do not yet know what's next....,” Thome did indeed assemble the sort of seemingly plodding and virtually plot-less yet inconspicuously clever film that makes popular American New Wave counter-culture works like Easy Rider (1969) and Bound for Glory (1976) seem like pastiche pieces of prosaic philistinism in its scathing (and apparently accidental) assault on the wild world of women’s liberation. Centering around a beatnik bastard who looks like an inbred version of Mick Jagger who moves into a hormone-driven house occupied by a cult of murderously wanton women who kill any man that they date for longer than five days so as to prevent falling in love with them, Rote Sonne takes feminist stereotypes to such extremes that one could never take such a loony liberation philosophy serious again after watching the film, not that any sane or sensible person would in the first place. Starring counter-culture sex symbol, German left-wing movement icon, and international super groupie Uschi Obermaier (born Chrissi Malberg) – a real-life wanton woman who lived in the kraut hippie commune Kommune 1 (K1) and carried many high-profile romances with rock ‘n’ roll stars, including Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, and Jimi Hendrix – Rote Sonne is nothing short of being bohemian Bavarian cult cinema degeneracy in its most killer and kaleidoscopic form. 

 Thomas (played by Marquard Bohm of Klick’s Deadlock (1970) and Fassbinder’s Beware of the Holy Whore (1971)) is a beatnik bum who has abandoned his 3-year-old child and wife and has just landed in Munich from Hamburg and he is already trying to swindle a taxi-driver out of cash, instead of paying him a tip. Luckily, Thomas – a man who states about himself that, “Tactics were never my strong point, but my broken charm is irresistible” – runs into his ex-girlfriend Peggy (Uschi Obermaier) at a bar and she invites him to squat at her home, which is full of very literal ‘femme fatales’ who seem like a bunch of lollipop and lily-licking lipstick lesbians, but they are something much more sinister as misandry–championing succubi who suck and fuck men, but for no more than five days. As Thomas finds out while interrogating a small blonde babe named Isolde (Gaby Go), Peggy killed her unfaithful boyfriend 18 months ago by pushing him off a balcony and telling the police that he committed suicide and ever since, she made the girls make a pact that they would kill any boyfriend they have after five days so as to prevent them from falling in love with a potentially fleeting philanderer. Of course, like any megalomaniacal cult leader, Peggy does not follow her own dogma, thus her Teutonic boy toy Thomas manages to live past five days, but being a wonderfully wacked out wench, the fatalistic female Führer is bound to crack at some point. The more men these murderous madams kill, the more fanatical their cult of the crazy cunt becomes as they begin building and testing bombs and even assassinate fellow female members who they believe are involved with treachery. Needless to say, these beauteous brunette and blonde beastesses give the brownshirts a run for the money because although National Socialism and the Männerbünde might be totally tot in Deutschland, fierce Feminazis have rightfully taken their place. With totally emasculated males who make absurd statements like “We got to break with tradition. That’s today’s task,” and “Even if we have to change the weather to change society, then we’ll to do it,” women have to naturally step up the plate, but, unfortunately, as the gorgeous gun-toting gals of Rote Sonne ultimately find out, no matter how many times one reads old Hebraic hags and Semitic slags of the Levite-left like Emma Goldman and Rosa Luxemburg, there is no cure for homicidal female hysteria, especially of the (unconsciously) shabbos goy, gynecocentric sort. 

 Like her character in Rote Sonne, Uschi Obermaier apparently made some absurd demands in her contract for the film, including having her then-boyfriend and communard Rainer Langhans (a “mover and shaker” of the Kommune 1 commune) on set at all times, working no longer than 4-day work weeks, and weekly paid flights from Munich to Berlin for the leftist love birds. As Obermaier would later admit, she had no actual interest in politics and her sole reason for living at Kommune 1 was to be with Langhans, a rather repugnant fellow who looked like the kraut version of John Lennon (Obermaier and Langhans were even described as the “German version” of John Lennon and Yoko Ono by the press), except even more gawky and gaunt. Interestingly enough, both Obermaier and Langhans would later star in the kraut counter-culture science fiction work Haytabo (1971) co-directed (with Peter Moland) by Ulli Lommel of all people and also starring Eddie Constantine and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, thus demonstrating the popularity of Rote Sonne at that time as an instant cult classic. Although still making films today, director Rudolf Thome would never again make another celebrated cinematic work that was as big of a hit as Rote Sonne, thereupon proving that one can never predict cultural trends, nor when they will degenerate into forgotten aesthetic debris. While few know of or talk about Rote Sonne today, the film does hold up to some degree as a quasi-ancient celluloid artifact from a thankfully dead, but still influential era when girls wanted to be boys and boys wanted to be girls and spoiled bourgeois white people wanted to live their lives in the vein of mythical 'noble savages.'  Personally, I think feminists would be contributing to the great cause of mankind if they assassinated beatnik beta-boys, but as Rote Sonne has proved, they tend to go wild for those weasley wanton wimps.

-Ty E

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