Willi (Klick-discovery Charlie Wierczejewski) lives on the streets of Hamburg, always on the run. Being sheltered by a good-natured journalist who attempts to resocialize him doesn’t stop him from getting in trouble. While being involved with small-time crook Theo (Walter Kohut – A Bridge Too Far, a.o.) who makes him work the streets, he falls in love with prostitute Monika (Eva Mattes – Stroszek, Enemy at the Gates, In a Year with 13 Moons a.o.).
Willi comes up with a dangerous plan that will enable both of them to make their last great escape.
Not making its protagonist a welfare case but romanticizing it as a James-Dean-like outlaw was unheard of in German cinema of the time; Supermarket was the first film to depict social reality in such an immersive way. As much as it is a carefully orchestrated action film, Supermarkt encompasses the hopes of a generation of young people who thought of themselves as both misunderstood and rejected and is rightfully a landmark of 70s cinema.
The style of Director of Photography Jost Vacano (Das Boot, RoboCop, Starship Troopers a.o.), whose legendary tracking shots became part of cinematic lore, can be traced back all the way to Supermarkt: faced with the difficulty of having to run after its protagonist and to produce the now-legendary heist scene, Vacano levelled the camera gyroscopically, a technique he would later usw in Das Boot – and basically invented a steady cam 2 years before the invention of the steady cam.
Hence, the camera becomes one with the spectator’s eye: with an intense knowledge of the milieu it depicts, the audience follows protagonist Willi, acting in a story not to far from his own, through the shady bars and back yards of Hamburg of the 70s. The camera’s moveability matching that of the protagonist, Supermarket creates a gripping experience of a restless, homeless life on the run. —Filmgalerie 451
Roland Klick, born July 4, 1939, in Hof, started to study dramatics and German studies but left university before his graduation to start a career in the film business. In 1962/63, he worked as a cinematographer for Rolf Schünzel’s documentary film “München – Tagebuch eines Studenten” at Deutsches Institut für Film und Fernsehen. Klick then finished his first short films and the 50-minute long feature film “Jimmy Orpheus” (1966) before he made his full-length feature film debut with the drama “Bübchen” (“Little Vampire”) in 1968.
Despite its controversial subject – “Bübchen” tells the story of a ten-year old boy who kills his sister and hides her dead body –, actress Renate Roland won a German film award for her performance, while Klick himself was celebrated by colleagues and critics as one of most promising young directors of German cinema.
Klick’s next film, the thriller “Deadlock” (1970) starring Mario Adorf that was filmed in Israel, was made in a completely different… read more