Adventure and fun on the high seas awaits these oppressed women in the classic avant-garde film from Ulrike Ottinger. Adventure and fun on the high seas comes at a price for this band of stereotyped women, who answer a...展开call to join Madame X on her ship Chinese Orlando and experience a life without rules and patriarchal tyranny. However old roles reassert themselves and the women find themselves swapping one kind of servitude for another as Madame X demands complete devotion from her shipmates, even the ones she is enamoured with.
An early low-budget film from renowned avant-garde filmmaker Ottinger, who actually took all crew positions while shooting in order to bring her outlandish vision to light. Madame X subverts traditional modes of narrative cinema creating a challenging and allegorical tale of female empowerment.
In this extravagantly aestheticized, postmodern pirate film famous, lesbian filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger appropriates the male genre for feminist allegory. Madame X — the cruel, uncrowned ruler of the China seas — promises "gold, love, and adventure" to all women who'll leave their humdrum lives behind. Gathered aboard her ship, Orlando, are a range of types: a frumpy housewife, a glamorous diva, a psychologist, a very German outdoorswoman, a bush pilot, an artist (played by Yvonne Rainer), and a "native" beauty. Their utopia devolves into betrayal and self-destruction—leading to eventual transformation—as the power games of the outside world are ritualized among the women.