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|Index||14 reviews in total|
Frank Ripploh wrote, directed and stars in this autobiographical movie.
He's a school teacher in Germany--he's also gay but keeps that a secret
from work. He's constantly on the prowl for sex (this was pre-AIDS) and
finally meet Bernd. They fall in love...but Ripploh can't stop looking
for sex. Will this relationship survive?
Ahead of its time. I'm surprised this movie even got MADE let alone released in 1981. I saw it when I was a closeted college student at an art cinema (the movie had an X rating here). It floored me--it showed two men CAN have a loving relationship despite problems. Also it has some very explicit sex scenes which are presented with no apology or pulling back--these scenes put "Queer As Folk" to shame. Also there's one with a very handsome man called Peter Fahrni which might test the limit for some people (he likes "golden showers").
This is a fascinating look at an early gay relationship before AIDS changed everything. Highly recommended--but not for everyone.
I watched 'Taxi Zum Klo' in 1985, at my Uni times, at age of 18. That version was a wildly mutilated one, but I had the option of getting the complete version of it much later. Back in 1985, it was the first time I realized I could live a regular life being gay, enjoying it, sharing it. After watching it i told my friends, family and people I loved. Never regretted it. So, this film made a huge impact in my life. I guess there is a small chance of anybody who toke part in the making of this film to read this comment (sadly, not it's director) .If yes, thanks for this film. Twenty years later, I'm more a Frank than a Bernd (LOL), but... thanks anyway.
I loved this movie. I found myself glued to it. The leading role is autobiographical and written and directed by Frank Ripploh. Sort of a documentary approach of the life of Frank as a charming schoolteacher by day and a sex driven zany rascal of a guy by night. He's something else. There are very explicit sex scenes that certainly were not repulsed by the actors. Bravo for that. And Mr. Ripploh dosen't have any shortcomings where it counts. We are aware from the start just what we're in for with this movie. I understand it caused much controversy in the 80s when it first came out. I guess because of the sex scenes. But, that's Frank. He's honest. I liked the guy Bernd Broderup who played his lover. At first a pick up, then a live in partner. He had some nice scenes, notably the ice skating scene where they dance together on the pond. And then there's the gas station attendant who finally gets our hero in such a graphic sex scene, I was dumbfounded. But you have to see for yourself what I mean. Go rent this VHS. It's quite an experience. One that stays with you.
"Taxi zum Klo" does not enjoy that great a reputation, due to its explicitness and "amoral" (some would say "immoral") values. Yet, I have the feeling that this film, while by no means great, is not all that bad either. The director-star chose to bare his sentiments in this public forum, and has done so with forthrightness. I picked this film in video form from the shelves of a public library. This suggests that given the passing of time, it will be even more readily available, and that viewers will take it all rather routinely. The film has a point of view and an honesty to it. The leading character may not be one's personal choice for a "hero," yet the fact that this is reportedly autobiographical allows the viewer individual options. As for the film's being "banned," this promises to be yet another futile effort in censorship, which seems largely based on the personal fears of the censors. One thing is for sure, once one sees "Taxi zum Ko," one never quite forgets it.
I just watched the DVD of Taxi Zum Klo, some 25+ years after seeing the
original in first release. I had forgotten how graphic and explicit the
movie is. I almost wonder if the version I first saw (in the U.S.) was
released intact. I didn't remember gay sex scenes clearly showing b/j's
and penetration. Maybe I blocked them out.
The overall quality of the DVD is lacking. It's definitely a transfer from video, fuzzy and jumpy. The dim, white subtitles are an exercise in frustration. This groundbreaking film deserves better. I wonder if Criterion would have the balls to tackle it?
It's a good movie, clearly autobiographical. The story is a gay relationship in late 1970s Berlin. The main character, a teacher, struggles to reconcile his political conviction of sexual liberty and promiscuity with the more traditional lifestyle of his lover.
The style of the film is Cassavetes-like. We get the sense that the director--who is also the lead actor-- used his friends and lovers from "true life" to act along with him. Transitions are abrupt, and not always logical. The cinematography is literal and conventional, if not downright crude, but somehow it still manages to yield a couple of shots that are beautiful. The ending feels hurried and unfinished. And it's hard to escape the suspicion that the explicit sex is used primarily for shock value.
Nevertheless, this is an important film in gay cinema and one that anyone interested in the genre's development and history should see. The story line is the essential, if now stereotypical, dilemma of the modern gay male: do we emulate hetero straight values, or invent a new socio-political lifestyle for ourselves? It is a theme repeated in countless other gay films, but never as directly or as raw as it was here, just as a gay cinema was beginning.
If you rebell at even the mildest same-sex love scene, you'd do well to
keep your distance from Frank Ripploh's autobiographical TAXI ZUM KLO.
Not only is the film shot through with casual male nudity and film
clips of vintage pornography, it also contains several extremely
explicit sex scenes--including at least one that will cause even the
most jaded viewer to wince.
Filmed in Germany in 1981, TAXI ZUM KLO (which translates as "Taxi to the Toilet") is the saga of Frank Ripploh himself--who finds that his job as a school teacher impinges upon his sexual escapades in an annoying sort of way. Pressed for a piece of paper, he writes the telephone number of a potential sexual partner in a student's theme book; determined not to miss a moment, he grades student papers while cruising a public bathroom frequented by like-minded homosexuals. But then Frank meets Bernd (real-life partner Bernd Broaderup), and a one-night stand turns into a relationship in which Frank seems to have it all: handsome, sexy Bernd has eyes for Frank only--and he can even cook.
Up to this point TAXI ZUM KLO maintains a certain eccentric humor that balances distaste with amusement; now, however, we begin to see that Frank is essentially a sex addict, a man who both desires and fears a permanent relationship. As the relationship intensifies, Frank begins to undermine it, turning to casual drug use that fuels an ever-escalating round of sexual extremes. Can Frank maintain his day-time facade as a school teacher? How much is Bernd willing to endure? TAXI ZUM KLO is often described as "an erotic comedy," and when it first made the rounds of art house cinemas and film festivals in the early 1980s it proved an audience favorite and critical darling; even so, the words "erotic" and "comedy" are more than a little dicey. Heterosexuals will have to be incredibly broadminded to find the film erotic, and after a certain point the same becomes true of homosexuals as well, for the sexual escapades become increasingly dark, increasingly disasteful as the film progresses. Much the same is true of the comic elements, which very soon become dark and, by the end of the film, less funny than disturbing and bitter. This is particularly true when one considers that Ripploh's behavior--and the behavior of others like him--fueled the AIDS crisis that exploded in the 1980s not long after this film debuted.
The performances, generally consisting of actors playing themselves, are unstudied yet interesting, and the visual style of the film approximates documentary. Although I do not own the hard-to-find DVD, I have seen it; it has no extras and the picture quality is mediocre at best. I do own the VHS, and while I would not describe that as pristine, I consider it distinctly superior in picture quality. In both cases, however, the subtitles are rendered in white print--and this is unfortunate, for they are often shown against light backgrounds that make them difficult to read.
In closing, I find it difficult to make a recommendation on TAXI ZUM KLO. Over the years I have shown it and loaned it to various friends, and few were able to sit through it from start to finish. Heterosexual viewers who weathered the graphic nature of the film usually found the veneral disease clinic scene a turning point; homosexual viewers endured longer but generally found a urine-laced scene toward the end of the film so distasteful that they stopped the film. Those able to reach the end of the film seemed to feel that its interest was undercut by the very unsympathetic nature of the central character and a considerable "ick" factor.
Ultimately, it probably best to consider TAXI ZUM KLO as a historical portrait of a certain segment of Berlin's pre-AIDS gay community. If you have an interest in that place and time, you will find it worth the effort; if not, you are likely to think the hurdles involved aren't worth the effort. Final word: enter at your own risk.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
We checked this film again decades after most of us had seen it first time around. @ Ritzy in Brixton which was bad and independent back in the day. What hit us all, is a moment in the movie where our guy shows his involved in international politics, meeting about Chile etc. He like many gay men is involved in the socialist politics and yet.. and yet where is his moves for individual sexual politics? This really was true back in the day where gay men would be involved in the great left vs right debate but keep their sexual life was a don't ask don't tell and don't expect any gay civil rights involvement from me! This wasn't a myth as Peter Tatchell was an active socialist in the labour part but once his gay lifestyle hit the media, well even the his Party's Leader had to denounce him as a 'poofta'. Political Young folk should watch Taxi Zum Klo to realize how good they have it now.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Taxi zum Klo" or "Taxi to the Toilet" is a West German 90-minute movie from 1980, so this one had its 35th anniversary last year. The writer and director and lead actor is Frank Ripploh and this is his career-defining film, his only really known work although he was pretty close to Rosa von Praunheim occasionally. This connection also tells you the direction this film is taking. It is a fairly early full feature film about the homosexual scene in Germany. The protagonist is a gay man and during these 1.5 hours we get to gain an insight into his life, his personal life and his professional life. In his personal life, he meets another man and they become a couple. Occasionally, they seem pretty happy, but there are also moments when there's major conflict, such as insecurity about where to move, insecurity whether to move at all, jealousy, faithfulness and their relationship in general. The main character played by Ripploh is a school teacher very much liked by his pupils, but his colleagues as well as parents are very critical because they seem to know or at least suspect that he is into men. And as they don't like him because he gets along well with the pupils and because he gives some pupils bad notes, they try to use his homosexuality against him. I really liked the last scene with the kids being allowed to do what they want as it felt a bit as if the main character was breaking free from his struggles, but there's also a negative side to it as he will certainly lose his job after that. And what was that outlet comment. He can't let them do that can he? Anyway, there were scenes I liked in here, but they were also scenes I did not like and the latter includes a rectal examination at the doctor for example which was very graphic. I don't mind such scenes if they add anything to the film, but honestly, this one did not at all. It was only in there to shock audiences and make this film even more controversial. Sometimes subtlety is the right path. As a whole, I would say that this was not too interesting of a film, even if I can see how progressive it was for 1980s. It's a shame it was weak in several areas as Ripploh clearly elevated the material with his acting. May he rest in peace. The bad outweighs the good and I give it a thumbs-down. No need really to make a sequel too.
A film from the seventies, released in 1980, Taxi Zum Klo tells the
story of a life divided by society and standards into two different
parts, respectability by day and licentious indecency by night. An
autobiographic account from Frank Ripploh who by day was the
respectable and liked schoolteacher yet by night a hedonistic, sex
seeking, public toilet inhabiting cruiser. The bulk of the story is
taken with Frank's need and desire to hunt for the latest sexual
conquest and encounters in risky and unsavoury places. He meets and
falls for a theatre manager and they move in together, could this be
the end of his hunting for sex in the underbelly of the very edge of
Berlin society? Another question raises itself, does he manage to keep
his seedy sex life out of the classroom, even if he does from time to
time he has been known to mark students work in the public lavatories
he inhabits hunting for his next slice of cock?
There was a lot of outrage surrounding this film at the time of its release, not least the refusal by many film censors to even allow it to be shown. Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, search on Amazon for Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Found this few years ago and I never get bore when I replay and
replayed. Just, great. Everything settle in a perfect fit and match.
Classic one but I guess there is no match for this movie till this
There some aspects that makes this movie great.
The Story It's rare and maybe the only movie (as long as I know) a school teacher exposing his sexual orientation and sexual activity outside his professional being. And it was really well match. Plot ran slowly about lonely teacher, intense up when he pound boyfriend, and higher when his need of boyfriend cross with need of sexual fulfillment. In that part, he tried many sexual activity. Hooking up with stranger, bathroom cruising, and even tried S&M. After that, plot ran slow again and met the final.
The Acting Frank Ripploh, the lead actor also director played his part really good. Also Bernd Broaderup as Bernd. I love Bernd's character growth. He played innocent man very good. He knew his position over Ripploh and made deal with it. At the end, goodness always win.
This is an important part. Many gay theme movies didn't have a very good acting. Somehow, low budget film result low acting quality. That's why I praise this movie much.
The Explicit This the part "Taxi zum Klo" most memorable. Even up to now, I can't find match this movie erotic, hotness, and explicitness. The fellatio was great and the sex scene too. The S&M part really surprising me. At the first time, I never imagine that mainstream movie had bravery to shot sexual urination except in porn.
Well, because it's explicitness, many people said this one can be called as porn. I don't think so. Porn doesn't have what Taxi zum Klo have, but what Taxi zum Klo have, absolutely porn own ones.
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