An exceptional talent, worn out by German cinema

Willi walks through the city, breathless, his body in pure, concentrated movement. Willi is on the run, looking for himself. He gets lost in the process. In the end it comes as it must. His past catches up with him, and his modest dreams of security and happiness are dissolved. His future is in prison.

When Roland Klick presented his Hamburg-based street film “Supermarkt” to the German public in 1974, everyone was amazed. So the new German film could also do thrillers? Contrary to what the title suggests, this was not a model, spelled out critique of capitalism that explains the commodity character of interpersonal relationships. Vibrant body cinema suddenly came into play here, supported by knowledge of the milieu and empathy. That had more to do with New Hollywood than with European auteur cinema.

There were two film ribbons in gold for this performance. Brilliant careers opened up for several contributors, such as Eva Mattes, who appeared on Klick as a hydrogen-blonde prostitute. Or Marius Müller-Westernhagen, who as Marius West contributed a song to the film and lent his voice to the amateur lead actor Charly Wierzejewski. Cameraman Jost Vacano later shot “Das Boot” for Wolfgang Petersen and was then brought to Hollywood by Paul Verhoeven.

Against the need for explanation

Director Roland Klick, however, could not continue on his way as hoped. Only the Sphinx of the funding system knows why German cinema repeatedly affords to wear out such exceptional talents. What is certain is that his unadapted voice was perceived more as a disruptive factor by producers and director colleagues. In interviews, he lamented the pedantic need for explanations of many directors, which suffocates every imagination in the viewer. His main criticism of the new German film was anti-public. This caused insults. It was just going wonderfully. The subsidy of the new German auteur film was secured for years, it could go on like this forever. Which it has done to this day. The fact that there is virtually no sophisticated genre cinema in Germany has to do with this.

On Monday the unbroken Roland Klick, who has lived in Ireland since the early 90s, celebrates his 83rd birthday. To mark this occasion, the Lichtblick cinema is showing the legendary “Supermarkt” once again, as well as “White Star”, which was completed in 1983 and starred Dennis Hopper; this is also the story of multiple failures. Hopper plays a jaded rock executive who wants to do it again. Shortly before reaching its goal, the structure of manipulations collapses. His creature named “Moody” gets out. Filming became a nightmare for Klick. Because it wasn’t “Moody” who got out, but Hopper, who was heavily addicted to cocaine. Cameraman Jürgen Jürges, who has just been honored for his life’s work, will be present at the screening and will report on his rescue attempts on film.

Roland Klick on his 83rd birthday, Lichtblick cinema on July 4th: “White Star” at 7.30 p.m., “Supermarkt” at 9.30 p.m.