B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin
New Plymouth, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Director: Jörg A. Hoppe, Heiko Lange, Klaus Maeck, Miriam Dehne, b/w and colour, 92 min., 2014/15
A decade of West Berlin subculture in original footage, breathtakingly edited – telling a story of the city during the last decade before the end of the Cold War.
When a bar is called Risiko (“Risk”) and the lead singer of Einstürzende Neubauten, Blixa Bargeld, is serving drinks behind the bar, then you know you’ve gone back to one of Berlin’s best periods – West Berlin’s best period, at least. Other protagonists from that era between post-modern, no future and the Geniale Dilletanten (“Ingenious Amateurs“ – the name was intentionally written incorrectly in German!) were – sometimes as the leads, sometimes as supporting actors – the serious Nick Cave, who collects “German Gothic” art on the walls of his room in a Berlin flat, the cool Gudrun Gut (from the band Malaria), who stands in front of the scene’s hotspot, the Dschungel, and lists clubs one can (or even must) go to after 2 a.m. There’s Die Tödliche Doris, who sing in the midst of the wasteland in the Western part of Potsdamer Platz. And other characters between the Wall and the firewalls, between the old and new buildings: Heino, Christiane F., Nena, Die Toten Hosen, Martin Kippenberger and Die Ärzte. Plus Tilda Swinton and Keith Haring. And Westbam, who arrived on the scene a little too late and was a real greenhorn at the time, before he became one of the godfathers of the Love Parade.