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The Captive Man: Roland Klick's Neo-Genre Cinema

MUBI Special

German cinema of the 1960s and 1970s is beloved internationally above all for the auteurs of the New German Cinema, chief among them Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Wim Wenders. But the post-war generation of West Germany created artistic personalities just as vivid and complex, but who were not able to achieve the same kind of festival-lauded fame as their compatriots. Roland Klick is such a personality, and deserves such fame. He worked on the outskirts of the New German Cinema, making movies that have much more in common with popular genre cinema than the intellectual art-house. Klick’s films, whether capturing the zeitgeist of German youth of the Sixties (Jimmy Orpheus) and the Seventies (Supermarkt), re-imagining the classic Western (Deadlock), or even starring Dennis Hopper (White Star), chart a fervent quest for freedom. These are bold blasts of adventurous cinematic storytelling. This is a filmmaker to discover.

Deadlock

Roland Klick West Germany, 1970

Roland Klick, a contemporary of Herzog and Wenders, hasn’t found their fame, but deserves it. This is a director to discover. Our retrospective spotlights his modern embrace of genre—rather than the art-house. This bracing neo-western, starring the great Mario Adorf, is the perfect place to start.

Jimmy Orpheus

Roland Klick West Germany, 1966

The best kept secret in German cinema? We continue our retrospective of Roland Klick, the happy reject of the New German Cinema, with this early short film. Jimmy Orpheus finds the punk-auteur with his characters on the nighttime streets of Hamburg, reinventing cinema one jump cut at a time.

Supermarkt

Roland Klick West Germany, 1974

Continuing our focus on the maverick but under-known New German Cinema contemporary Roland Klick is this 1970s masterpiece of youthful discontent. Fusing popular crime genres with gritty, street-level realism, it proves a fervid and rare direct gaze at West German society. Utterly relentless.

White Star

Roland Klick West Germany, 1983

Berlin, 1981. Ken Barlow is the washed up ex-tour manager for the Rolling Stones who has found salvation in Moody, an up and coming synth-pop artist. Obsessed with the need for publicity, Barlow incites a violent punk riot at Moody’s concert, embarking the two on a destructive quest for success.

Life is too short for bad films

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