Partycrashers is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.
The first Notebook appearance of the legendary Berlin establishment named 'Stadtklause' ("city retreat") was in 2009, when I described it as "an unremarkable-looking pub where, some evenings, a certain 'Bruno S' can be found playing his accordion and singing old Berlin songs. If you've seen Werner Herzog's Stroszek, you will know whom and what I am talking about. Bruno S was the star of that movie, and also of Herzog's Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, and for my money he's at least as important Herzog-collaborator as the rather better-known (and much-lamented) Klaus Kinski."
Seven years later and Bruno S. is sadly no longer with us, but the Stadtklause remains. It's still a handy and unpretentious watering-hole on Bernburger Strasse near Anhalter Bahnhof, just a short walk from Potsdamer Platz, the grimly modernistic epicentre of the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival). It was during late-night drinks in the low-ceilinged, white-walled upstairs rooms at Berlinale 2015 that the seed for what was to become Partycrashers was planted: Notebook editor Danny Kasman floated the suggestion that Michael Pattison and myself should record informal film-related discussions from some of the numerous festivals we attend during the year. The first such 'vodcast' was shot at FIDMarseille five months later, with further instalments in Wroclaw (Poland), Prizren (Kosovo), Vienna and Newcastle.
What better venue for the Berlinale-themed Partycrashers VI, then, than the Stadtklause—on an afternoon towards the end of the sprawling, multi-stranded festival where no two attendees ever see the same bunch of films. Michael and I didn't have a great deal of overlap, but were able to compare notes on Jeff Nichols' competition contender Midnight Special. Otherwise, the conversation proceeded on its usual freewheeling, tangent-embracing path, lubricated with libations (beer for me, a soft drink for temporarily-teetotal Michael) from the Stadtklause bar, delivered by a Kosovar dude who could make a decent living as a Hank Azaria lookalike if the pub was ever to shut its doors and follow Bruno into oblivion. —Neil Young