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Roland Klick

Roland Klick - Collection

Roland Klick's films are the core of Filmgalerie 451. With only 7 dateless films and his motto "film and audience = cinema" he is fascinating to date.

News: Retrospectives

The Cambridge Film Festival in association with the Goethe-Institut London and Filmgalerie 451 offers a unique chance to see the first comprehensive showcase of legendary cult director Roland Klick in the UK. Widely regarded as the great white hope of German Cinema in the 1970s, Roland Klick should have had a brilliant career. But his dystopian punk rock odysseys, psychedelic westerns and youth-oriented crime dramas were too imaginative and unconventional for the cinema of that time. Marginalized by the critical establishment – although his films won several federal film awards – he did not join the ranks nor shared the success of the New German Cinema directors. Yet, Klick still had an international following and has enjoyed the respect of fellow filmmakers including Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and Alejando Jodorowsky for his command of genre and his boldness with films that defy categorisation. (front row reviews, September 10, 2013)

„Sensuality, credibility and respect for his figures characterize the cinema of Roland Klick. Dazu kommt die Einheit von Mythos und Realismus: Charly Wierzejewski in SUPERMARKT is just a small asphalt rat, but has also a touch of James Dean and the eternal rebel. The two things are the case and shape the true picture of the figure.“ (Hans Schifferle about the VHS release and the cinema re-release in November 1997)

„...Klick is a legend, on the whole the only one in the last decades of German cinema. It has become difficult to imagine, that at some point in this country films like the 'Can'-driven acid-existentialist desert-endgame DEADLOCK, the pop-dialectic SUPERMARKT or the utterly self-destructive punk-elegy WHITE STAR were produced. (...) Klick himself took care of the edition, it shows in the quality of the prints: correct formats, pin-sharp original material, no muddy colours. Roland Klick is back in town ...“ (Olaf Möller in „folglio“)

Further Reading: „Das Kino des Roland Klick“ by Ulrich Berg published by edition filmwerkstatt

Biography Roland Klick
Roland Klick was born in Hof/ Saale on the 4th of July, 1939. He spent his childhood in Neumünster, a small town in the German province of Schleswig-Holstein. Before turning to film, Klick made a name for himself as a jazz musician and painter. Later on, he studied theatre for eight semesters and was subsequently enrolled at the German Institute for Film and Television. During that time, Klick began to write his first screenplays and worked as a cinematographer for the documentary feature MÜNCHEN - TAGEBUCH EINES STUDENTEN by Rolf Schünzel. In 1962, Roland Klick started making short films: WEIHNACHT (1962), LUDWIG (1964) and ZWEI (1965), all of which won prizes at film festivals (Mannheim, Krakau, Tours). During the production of his first feature film JIMMY ORPHEUS (1966), the production company Atlas went bankrupt. Using the material he had already shot, Klick produced an hour-long version of his film that consisted mainly of the artistic impressions of a drifter on his nightly journey through strip clubs.
Searching for an Italian co-producer for his film DEADLOCK, Klick travelled to Rome and started collaborating with Federico Fellini, with whom he prepared SATYRICON for several months. While in Rome, a newspaper article inspired Klick to start work on his debut feature film BÜBCHEN (1968). The film is a subtle psychological study of an 11-year-old boy who kills his sister. Even after the boy gets help from his father to cover all tracks, the film doesn’t reveal whether this gruesome death was an accident or a deliberate murder.
Shortly after the birth of his son Alexander, Roland Klick’s wife Marlis died in a car crash. Klick tried to compensate for his loss with work, and began shooting DEADLOCK (1970) in the Israeli desert shortly thereafter. Klick’s allegory of the End of Days was influenced both by spaghetti westerns and the 1970s drug culture, and was produced at his own financial risk. DEADLOCK was a critically-acclaimed box-office hit, garnering Roland Klick his first German Film Award. His next film was SUPERMARKT (1974), the mesmerising tale of the hopeless fight for survival in the city jungle, which led to Klick’s second German Film Award. Looking for stories that would attract a big audience, Klick adapted a novel by Johannes Mario Simmel: LIEB VATERLAND, MAGST RUHIG SEIN (1976). In 1979, Roland Klick won his third German Film Award for the documentary DERBY FEVER, USA. This brilliant account of the popular American horse races and the media hype they created was co –produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk.
Subsequently, Klick planned to adapt the bestseller CHRISTIANE F. – WE CHILDREN FROM BAHNHOF ZOO for the big screen. After numerous script drafts and continuous struggles with the production company, Klick finally abandoned the project and began preparations for WHITE STAR, which, like DEADLOCK and SUPERMARKET, was to be self-produced. WHITE STAR is set in Berlin’s music scene of the time, and stars Dennis Hopper in the lead role. It was made in 1981/82, premiered at the Hof International Film Festival and won Roland Klick his fourth German Film Award.
WHITE STAR was followed by the comedy SCHLUCKAUF about a young female villager who gets stranded in Berlin. Severe fights with the producers and the German Federal Film Board caused the film to remain unreleased.
After that, Roland Klick withdrew from the film business completely. He started to travel through South-East Asia and South America and lived on the west coast of Ireland for many years. Since then he has worked on numerous essays on film theory and a novel. Roland Klick works as a lecturer at several German film schools.

Films by Roland Klick on DVD and VHS

Roland Klick Filme - DVD Collection (D 1962 - 2013, 540 min)

by Roland Klick

"The professional amongst German directors." Szene Hamburg

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Bübchen (Deutschland 1968, 86 min)

by Roland Klick

There is something decaying in the bourgeois garden - the debut of Roland Klick!

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Deadlock (Special Edition) (D 1970, 88 min)

by Roland Klick

Klick's gritty psychedelic Western - with a soundtrack by CAN!

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Supermarkt (D 1973, 84 min)

by Roland Klick

Between "The French Connection" and "Rebel Without A Cause", "Supermarket" is rightfully regarded as a cult classic of German cinema.

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White Star (D 1981-83, 92 min)

by Roland Klick

Hopper at his self-destructive height in Berlin's 1980s music scene!

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Das Kino des Roland Klick - Interview und Kurzfilme (D 1997, 177 min)

by Roland Klick / Frieder Schlaich

Interview film with Roland Klick from 1997 about all his films.

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Schluckauf (D 1987-1989, 92 min)

by Roland Klick

Country girl Flo (irene Findeisen) wants to hit the catwalks of Berlin. The only ticket to her new life is the business card of a supposed model. After a tough struggle she manages to nest in Chantal's (Cathy Haase) Kreuzberg stucco flat.

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Jimmy Orpheus (D 1966, 52 min)

by Roland Klick

A dock worker must wander the streets of Hamburg after he is locked out of his shelter. In the poorer part of town, he encounters a young woman. He wants to begin an affair with her, but it is not meant to be.

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Lieb Vaterland magst ruhig sein

by Roland Klick

An East-German small-time crook becomes a double agent and is caught in the cross-fire between West & East! Klick's Johannes Mario Simmel adaptation!

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