Friday, 15 April 2016

Taxi Zum Klo

Since returning from Berlin, I've been revisiting the city through my film collection and last night I managed to steal some time to watch Frank Ripploh's 1980 film Taxi Zum Klo, a terrific, bittersweet and riotously explicit look at gay life in West Berlin. Young gay Londoners must have thought Berlin a tremendous open city when the film was seen on the club circuit in 1981 (in and around the same time as Christiane F. no less). At least Frank Ripploh's schoolteacher gets laid with much more ease and less frustration than Ken Robertson in Nighthawks, and watching the film again last night, I hadn't realized the many interesting parallels between Taxi Zum Klo and Nighthawks - the nocturnal neon ambiance of both films' respective cities, the minimal electronic scores, and the two lead characters sharing the same profession, and both lifting the lid on their lives in the classroom. Ripploh turns in one of the most committed and fearless performances on film (he's no Bobby Kendall that's for sure) and the film is often very witty - when a horny Ripploh goes cruising in the Tiergarten, a very erect looking Victory Column looms in the background. Incidentally, I couldn't resist grabbing the frame capture below, taken from the excellent Peccadillo DVD, of Bernd Broaderu and Frank Ripploh's first encounter before a poster for The Crazies of all things !

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