Pürrer / Scheirl / Schipek

Pürrer / Scheirl / Schipek

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Flaming Ears is a pop sci-fi lesbian fantasy feature set in the year 2700 in the fictive burnt out city of Asche. It follows the tangled lives of three woman: Sy, comic book artist; Volly, a performance artist and sexed up pyromaniac; and Nun, an amoral alien with predilection for reptiles.

It's a story of love and revenge, and an antiromantic plea for love in its many forms. It's also a story laced with sex, violence and a pulsating soundtrack, a cyberdyke movie, stimulating both the body and the brain.


Ursula Pürrer
1962 born in Vienna. Lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg.
VIDEOS & FILMS (Selection)
1984-86 20 short Super-8 films, Im Orginal farbig (video, 13 min)**, The Drift of Juicy (video, 10 min.), 1989; Das Aufbegehren und das andere Begehren (video installation, 20 min), 1991; Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche (16mm/Super 8 blow up, 84 min), 1992*; Blueprint (video/film, 75 min), 2000.
* together with Angela Hans Scheirl and Dietmar Schipek, ** together with Angela Hans Scheirl

Ashley Hans Scheirl

Born in Salzburg
1975-80 Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Restauration of Art)
since 1979 Super-8 Films
1979-84 experimental music with 8 or 9
1981-82 Performances, Fluxus. Assistant to Arleen Schloss, N. Y.
since 1984 collaboration with Ursula Pürrer
1985 music-performances with Ungünstige Vorzeichen
since 1989 collaboration with Dietmar Schipek
since 1992 multimedia cybercomicsplatter-cinema Dandy Dust
Filmmaker. Artist. Transgender. Offfical name-change 1998: Angel > Hans
since 2003 painting/installations
since oct. 2006  Professor for 'Contextual Painting' at the Akademie of Fine Arts Vienna
2012 receives the "Kunstpreis der Stadt Wien" + 'The Jane Bowles Serious Elegance CHEAPy Underground Über Alles Award for Sci-fi DIY Aesthetic Innovation and Gender Creative Visionary Art'
2017 participant of documenta 14, Emst Athens + Neue Galerie Kassel
2018-2019 on residency in Berlin, DAAD Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

"Early film practice of the 1980s and 1990s contributed significantly to the development of conceptual art in Austria by moving between the definitions of experimental film, public-space actions, performance, music, and other forms of expression related to lesbian and queer sexuality. Her transition to painting (...) has been accompanied by a metamorphosis of her own physical appearance to one of male allure, helped by testosterone injection. His recent accomplishment with this art medium encouraged him to emancipate one more time from his gender identification, to be called a "she" again. This time using "Ashley" (which, like "Hans," uses letters from the name given at birth: Angela Scheirl), a gender variable name."
(excerpt from Pierre Bal-Blanc, Documenta 14: Daybook)



Unlike little else that has come before it (except, perhaps, Lizzie Borden's 1983 gem Born in Flames), this 1991, Austrian-made, futuristic, lesbian thriller/romance/science fiction co-direction is in a league of its own. Set in the year 2700, the future portrayed here bears faint resemblance to any present we call our own. The fact that this universe is primarily comprised of lesbians is only one of the ways in which this film creates its overriding sense of unfamiliarity. Then there's the strangeness of the characters themselves, and a host of disorienting narrative and visual techniques that compel the viewer to constantly construct meanings anew. Shot in Super 8 and blown up to 16mm, the resultant graininess and threadbare aesthetics only contribute to Flaming Ears' dislocating effect. Dime-store props and special effects actually work to enhance the movie's overall artificiality, rather than exclusively looking cheesy and fake. Disruptively obvious effects like claymation, stop-motion photography, and cardboard cut-outs are employed to invent this future of the imagination. Also, the florid, non sequitur dialogue would be laughable were it not so odd and provocative. Flaming Ears opens with the sight of a character named Volley (played by co-director Pürrer), who is on roller skates and wears Mickey Mouse-like pyramids atop her head, engaging in drugged sex with a piece of furniture which she then sets on fire. Volley's actions are only preludes to the pyromaniac's celebrity performances at lesbian sex clubs. The opening fire destroys the print shop of cartoon artist Spy (Heilmayr) who then sets out in search of Volley. After getting beaten up and bounced from the sex club, she is befriended by Volley's Robocop-like girlfriend Nun (co-director Scheirl). The crewcut Nun is clothed in a red plastic jumpsuit and munches big raw snails and flame-kissed alligators. There's not a whole lot more plot I can figure out with much certainty. Though Flaming Ears goes on longer than it needs to and is, at most times, difficult to narratively follow, it is never uninteresting to watch. Bursting with creatively shot images and an overwhelming disturbance of the familiar and “natural,” Flaming Ears is a case study in making the most from the least. Its imaginative stretches and its low-budget production values will not appeal to all fancies, although it has developed a reputation as a “cyberdyke” cult movie. Perhaps the best description of Flaming Ears was penned by critic B. Ruby Rich: “Imagine the film that J.G. Ballard might have made if he'd been born an Austrian dyke, and don't say I didn't warn you.”

REVIEWED BY MARJORIE BAUMGARTEN, JULY 8, 1994, austinchronicle.com


Angela [Ashley, editor's note] Ursula Pürrer and Dietmar Schipek are the names of the team behind this film, veteran Super 8 and video pirates, ritual deconstructers of cinematic forms. Rote Ohren fetzen durch Asche, which took them two years to make, employs a rough plot as a framework to be adorned with the artists’ nightmarish designs, painted sets and surreal objects. A pyromaniac named Volley strolls through the night, wantonly setting objects and dwellings ablaze. Spy, a comic book artist and one of Volley’s victims, becomes a violent loner while plotting to exact her revenge. And sinister Nun, Volley’s lover and an enthusiastic consumer of reptiles, is impending red-leather-clad betrayal for her fire-friendly companion, as she morphs into Spy’s accomplice. [...] Lovely stops along the way: apocalyptic depravity, audio tracks full of pulsing synthetic noise, the absolute physical commitment of the performers and stop-motion animation effects.

Stefan Grissemann, Die Presse published 20.03.1992


€ 26.40
€ 17.00
€ 6.00
Shipping costs worldwide: € 6,— / Every further item € 2,—
89 min

A 1991, 16mm, 84 min
With: Susanna Heilmayr, Ursula Pürrer, Angela Hans Scheirl, Margarete Neumann, Gabriele Szekatsch, Anthony Escott, Luise Kubelka

Extra DVD: 20 pages booklet, bilingual English-German