Saturday April 9th 2011, 23:30
It’s the story of a 30 year old school teacher who is efficient at doing his job, but really lives for cruising. An autobiographical film, it starts out with the line, “Do you want to come cruising with me?” and that is what we do for the entire film.
The film was written, directed and stars Frank Ripploh, who shows us what gay culture was like in 1980s West Germany. Despite the fact that he is constantly cruising, he manages to maintain a live-in relationship with his less adventurous partner Bernd who is constantly nagging him to change his ways and “buy a farm together” where they can “grow their own food” and live in the peace and quiet of nature.
Ripploh won’t have any of that because he prefers cruising in public restrooms, going to drag parties and dating on acid. Despite winding up in a V.D. clinic with an ice cold proctoscope examining his colon, his only fear is that he might grow into a pathetic old fag with no one but a rent-boy to keep him company. And that’s why this film is a classic.
Ripploh is a fearless gay superhero who conquers the streets of Berlin with his every waking step. He is arrogant but friendly, rude but sincere, detached yet caring (for example he helps his female neighbour who was being beaten by her husband by cleaning her up, giving her a schnapps and sticking her in a taxi to a shelter for “women who have that sort of problem”), and he’s insatiable; i.e.: “Hungry like the Wolf.”
A one-of-a-kind character, one really must accompany Frank on his adventures to understand him better. The story is in the minute details that he obviously put a lot of thought into. The opening scene alone is what really draws you in, it is the type of morning that anyone could have anywhere is the world, complete with a naked balcony leap to safety!
If you missed it at the Rio, go see it somehow or your gay cinema repertoire will be incomplete.