Taxi Zum Klo (Ripploh, 1980) & Westler (Speck, 1985): Shortwave Cinema, 7.30pm
This is part of the Scala Forever season, a programme of 111 films at 26 venues through to October 2 that will celebrate the wonderful Scala cinema at King's Cross which closed in 1993. Here is an article I wrote in the Guardian on the history of the cinema and the season and here are the details of all the movies and special events on offer, via the Scala Forever website.
Scala Forever introduction:
Taxi Zum Klo was a Scala institution that often led to as much excitement off screen as on it. Berlin based director Frank turned the camera on his own life, his lovers, his fantasies and his trips to the toilets. Westler is another German tale about Felix who falls in love with Thomas. Just one problem: The Berlin Wall divides them. A groundbreaking classic that risked it all.
Time Out review of Taxi Zum Klo:
‘Do you want to come cruising with me? Good.’ So begins Frank Riploh’s astonishing queer Berlin odyssey, largely unseen since its creation 31 years ago. Growing out of an autobiographical multimedia show created by voraciously experimental Riploh, it follows his self-named character as he juggles work as a teacher, socialising with colleagues and neighbours, his compulsive sexual adventures and a fledgling relationship with a more domestically inclined lover. Can a roast dinner compete with a moustachioed stable boy? It’s largely shot in vivid, naturalistic style, the content ranging from banal to explicit – sometimes, as when our hero marks homework in a gay cottage, both – and sometimes punctured with glimpses of creepy paedophilia information films or Nazi-era porn. Riploh’s compelling character dominates: at once liberated and narcissistic, good-natured and wilful, his complexities suit a film whose strong current of humour belies a serious engagement with the general, perhaps intractable problem of whether our impulses toward intimacy and unaccountability can ever be reconciled.'
Here is the trailer