Dr. Sandy Frieden of the University of Houston will teach “a series of bizarre and insanely beautiful films guaranteed to mess with your mind!  Each class includes a lecture, snacks, and drinks.”

The films will be shown at 14 Pews, 800 Aurora Street, Houston, TX  77009 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on the Thursdays set forth below.

Please check out the 14 Pews website for reservations, cost, and details: http://14pews.org/calendar.asp?pageid=15&calid=1604limited tickets left!

July 6 – Heart of Glass    Werner Herzog, 1976

Are we sleepwalking through life?  A pre-industrial German village, whose secret of making its prized ruby glass has suddenly died with the head glassmaker, now has nowhere to go but down.  Roger Ebert:  “Terrifying in its emptiness.” The entire cast speaks its parts under hypnosis….and it’s this film that set me on my lifetime passion for German film!

July 13 – Fata Morgana    Werner Herzog, 1971

We’ve corrupted the earth, and what civilization we have has dissolved…all captured in intense and mesmerizing tracking shots through the desert.  An occasionally funny and always elusive and illusory dystopia set in the Sahara, with Lotte Eisner intoning the Guatemalan story of the creation of the world, and Leonard Cohen’s songs in accompaniment.

July 20 – Ticket of No Return   Ulrike Ottinger, 1979

Kitsch, grotesque, satire, fantasy and beauty rendered as the most breakable of mirrors—our unspeaking heroine (alternate title:  Portrait of a Woman Drinker) binge-drinks her way across Berlin, with companions Nina Hagen, Eddie Constantine, and Magdelena Montezuma, until she smashes all images with her beautiful high heels.

July 27 – Invisible Adversaries   Valie Export, 1978

A feminist artistic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (sort of), this assortment of vignettes and critiques linked by the threat of alien invaders (unless they’re already here??) by performance artist Valie Export, whose “Touch Cinema” once scandalized her fellow Austrians.  (This film has inspired a currently running exhibit at Bard College, New York, and the MOMA has acquired a large body of her work.)


Dr. Sandy Frieden has taught German film at the University of Houston for more than 35 years, both face-to-face and online.   She has made dozens of presentations on German film, published more than fifteen articles on German cinema and literature, authored a book on German-language autobiography, and was lead editor for Gender and German Cinema: Feminist Interventions (Vol. 1 & 2).   She is also a management consultant and will gladly explain to you how her management consulting is the same as her teaching.

Article on Werner Herzog

Heart of Glass – Trailer

Fata Morgana – Trailer

Excerpt from Ticket of No Return

Excerpt from Invisible Adversaries