Whammy! welcomes Lucy Talbot Allen back to the microcinema to program and intro the beloved and groundbreaking Taxi zum Klo (1980).
Compared to the prolific careers of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Rosa Von Praunheim, and Ulrike Ottinger, Frank Ripploh’s two-film directorial run might not seem impressive. But his pioneering debut Taxi zum Klo (1980) places him in the creative ranks of queer New German Cinema alongside those filmmakers. Starring Ripploh as a fictionalized version of himself, Taxi zum Klo (literally “taxi to the toilet”) documents the double life of a gay schoolteacher with an active sex life on Berlin’s cruising circuit. When he begins a relationship with Bernd (Bernd Broaderup), Frank finds himself in an age-old conundrum—he wants to stay cruisey, while Bernd envisions monogamy for the pair. Both an intimate self-reflexive character study and a love letter to a since-lost gay world, Ripploh’s film is a funny, incisive, and unabashedly hot Pride Month gem. - Lucy Talbot Allen
Frank, a gay school teacher, has a very active sex life and an interest in making films. One evening, he meets Bernd and they become lovers. But while Bernd is attentive and caring, Frank gets bored and continues his polymorphously perverse ways. - Letterboxd
dir. Frank Ripploh, 1980, VHS projection