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Virgin Machine
Actors: Ina Blum, Marcelo Uriona, Gad Klein, Peter Kern, Hans-Christoph Blumenberg
Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
R     2003     1hr 26min

Initially intending to write a story, a young journalist researches and tries to find romantic love in Hamburg. When her attempts seem fruitless, she tries her luck in San Francisco, where the search become more personal. ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ina Blum, Marcelo Uriona, Gad Klein, Peter Kern, Hans-Christoph Blumenberg
Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Sub-Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/19/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, German
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Sweet, smart, subversive, sexy
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 03/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film should be associated with the New German Cinema, as a late entry in that "genre," if you could call it a genre, before it dissipated. It shares a lot of concerns typical of said body of films, like the voyage to America in search of parentage and identity, which echoes films like Wenders' ALICE IN THE CITIES, say. It also is very self-conscious of its relationship to moviemaking itself, and borrows a Wizard-of-Oz motif, as I recall it, with out heroine being named Dorothy and San Fransisco being presented as a sort of gay Oz. Unlike most new German cinema, though, THE VIRGIN MACHINE was directed by a woman, Monika Treut, and is self-consciously (post-)feministic. The protagonist is female and its her mother she's looking for (as I recall) in coming to San Fransisco. She's also looking for a "cure for romantic love." The early half of the film shows both the attractive/repulsive aspects of relationships with men; the middle portion of the movie has her being shown entirely new ways of looking at sex on her trip to America, with the help of now-famous-erotica-editor Susie Bright (sporting a substantial dildo collection, which she describes in considerable detail). (The actress playing Dorothy is great at wide-eyed naive fascination with the episodes she encounters. I think she's Lottie Huber, the lead from ANITA, DANCES OF VICE, but I could be wrong). There is a hilarious lesbian strip bar sequence where the female dancer spoofs male sexuality in a way any man watching will also be able to get a kick out of. Dorothy meets one particular woman who promises to cure her forever of romantic love, whom, of course, she falls quickly for... Treut's feminism has always been pro-porn, pro-erotica, pro-sexual-playfulness, and she's also made films with Annie Sprinkle and interviewed Camille Paglia; the film ISN'T properly speaking erotica, however. It does HAVE its erotic aspects but I think viewers interested in feminism, sexual identity, German cinema, and so forth will find it more rewarding than viewers wanting to be turned on, be they male or female. Remember as you watch it that it was made in the 1980s, pre-Madonna, so to speak, so that its stance towards porn and sex and so forth was kind of refreshing, new, and controversial at the time; mainstream feminism then was still focused largely on the exploitation of women and tinged with anti-porn, even anti-sex, sentiments. Also note: though I think the black and white, independent-film aesthetic is quite pleasing to watch, this is NOT a big-budget, slick film with high production values. Don't expect anything of Hollywood here."
Allan MacInnis | 07/03/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The beginning leads you to believe she has had a relationship with a fat man and her half brother. Once she leaves Germany, in a feable search for her mother and love, the movie begins to gain the viewers interest. In San Francisco she hits the lesbian scene and is introduced to her first lesbian strip show....that in itself was amusing at best.Long story short, I am not sure what the actual point of this movie was."