In terms of their relation to German New Cinema, Werner Herzog makes the claim in Schneeweißrosenrot that Gisela and Jutta won the “Grand Prize of Oberhausen” (a reference to the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen) with their short Heinrich Viel (1969), but their directing careers pretty much ended there, though Gisela would direct the documentary Tim Leary: The Art of Dying (2008) nearly four decades later. Additionally, Jutta would star in the lead female role of the Alexander Kluge flick In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod (1974) aka In Danger and Dire Distress the Middle of the Road Leads to Death and would appear in a couple small roles in marginal West German movies and TV shows, including the crime-comedy Peng! Du bist tot! (1987) directed by her ex-husband Adolf Winkelmann. Gisela was less active in film, though she would appear in a small role in the Wim Wenders' flick The State of Things (1982) aka Der Stand der Dinge. Quite hilariously but not surprisingly, Jutta’s ex-hubby Winkelmann totally discredits the twins’ involvement in filmmaking as nothing more than a novelty, stating, “We, the men, were the real doers, the thinkers, made everything possible – the girls were just there as decoration, to help us, do stuff – I think that’s how we saw it.” While Herzog commits a bit of puffery in regard to the historical importance of the twins in regard to New German Cinema, he certainly questions their values and morals (or lack thereof), remarking regarding when he knew them in the late-1960s, “It was a turbulent time…Both for me and for the twins. They lived near where I lived, together with a gang of car thieves. One day my car had been broken into and for a moment I suspected them but they said, no, they hadn’t broken into my car.” Indeed, pedantic pinko auteur Alexander Kluge states something similar about the twins’ character, remarking, “I consider the two to be extremely self-sufficient. I can’t separate self-sufficiency from crime or intrigue because anyone who thinks he can do it, can do it.”
In one particularly notable photo collage scene featured in Schneeweißrosenrot, Jutta and Gisela are featured in various black-and-white photographs topless sporting SS hats that echo the infamous scene of Charlotte Rampling singing the Marlene Dietrich song “Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte” in Liliana Cavani’s The Night Porter (1974). Undoubtedly, this SS striptease acts as a sort of accidental allegory for Deutschland in the post-WWII era, especially when compared to a photo also featured in the documentary of the twins' father sporting a Nazi uniform, where discipline has been traded in for debauchery and the patriarchy has been overpowered by the matriarchy. In terms of Jutta and Gisela’s supposed sex appeal, I just cannot wrap my head around how so many kraut and yank counter-culture types found these two androgynous opportunists, who resembled half-caste Chinese teenage boys, so terribly delectable, but then again, most of these effortlessly effete fellows assumedly needed a little bit of testosterone to balance out there own estrogen imbalances. Admittedly, had Rainer Werner Fassbinder—a man obsessed with doppelgangers, femme fatales, and general cruel women—not overdosed in 1982, it would have been nice to see him direct a biopic about the lurid lives of the twins, who might be best described as ‘Mata Haris of Germany's counter-culture generation.’ If nothing else, Schneeweißrosenrot will always be a memorable documentary for me in that David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997) will forever be all the more bizarre for me after discovering star Balthazar Getty’s parents are no less debauched than the characters of the film, not to mention the fact that John Paul Getty III’s kidnapping is eerily reminiscent of the one in Blue Velvet (1986); severed ear and all.