Recently reconstructed from prints after the loss of the original negatives, Flaming Ears is the almost lost cult movie you didn’t know you were waiting for – a fiercely inventive lesbian dystopia made by a trio of Austrian underground artists, soaked in queer politics, low budget enthusiasm and goofy DIY energy. Set in 2700 in the ruins of a burnt out fictional city, the gleefully irrelevant plot centers on the interweaving lives of comic book artist Spy (Susana Helmayr), oversexed pyromaniac Nun (played by co-director Ursula Pürrer), and a latex-clad reptile-eating alien (another co-director A. Hans Scheirl). As the arresting steampunk meets fetish club aesthetic suggests, Flaming Ears is a film which, like Ulrike Ottinger’s Freak Orlando (1981) or Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames (1983), abandons conventional narrative logic to render radical ideas as subversive style. Leave your preconceptions at the door and prepare to be plunged into a subversive cinematic underworld beyond your weirdest fantasies. Buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride… (RP
Rachel Pronger is a writer and curator, and co-founder of archive activist feminist film collective Invisible Women. Rachel is part of the Editorial team at SiNEMA TRANSTOPIA.