11 user 29 critic

Berlin Calling (2008)

A man tours clubs around the globe with his manager and girlfriend. On the eve of their largest album release he is admitted to a psychiatric clinic after overdosing at a gig.


Hannes Stöhr


Hannes Stöhr
5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Kalkbrenner Paul Kalkbrenner ... Martin 'DJ Ickarus' Karow
Rita Lengyel Rita Lengyel ... Mathilde
Corinna Harfouch ... Prof. Dr. Petra Paul
Araba Walton Araba Walton ... Corinna
Peter Schneider ... Crystal Pete
Rolf Peter Kahl ... Erbse (as RP Kahl)
Henriette Müller Henriette Müller ... Jenny
Udo Kroschwald Udo Kroschwald ... Karow - Martins Vater
Megan Gay ... Labelchefin Alice
Max Mauff ... Zivi Alex (as Maximilian Mauff)
Peter Moltzen Peter Moltzen ... Heinrich Karow - MartinsBruder
Dirk Borchardt ... Clubchef Tom
Erdal Yildiz ... Hotelangestellter
Ernest Hausmann Ernest Hausmann ... Pfleger Ernesto (as Ernest Allan Hausmann)
André Hoffmann André Hoffmann ... Franz


A man tours clubs around the globe with his manager and girlfriend. On the eve of their largest album release he is admitted to a psychiatric clinic after overdosing at a gig.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2 October 2008 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Berlin ateşi See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lasting for 129 weeks in the German Single Charts "Sky and Sand" is the longest lasting single in the history of the German Single Charts. See more »


References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »


Pröludium g-Moll BWV 558
By Anonymus
Edition Peters Leipzig
See more »

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User Reviews

If you only think about yourself you'll end up alone.
11 September 2009 | by stuka24See all my reviews

This movie deals with 2 topics I don't care much about: DJs and drug rehab. It does it so well that at the end I came out wanting to listen to the only electronic music CD I've got, and I read on a famous Psychiatry manual about amphetamines.

Music is great. So is the way it's interspersed with the story. The contrast between his "interior world" and the outside. Like when he made the psychiatrist listen to his music: it was a bit loud for her, consequently to us, so that we notice. Then when he took out his perpetual headphones, the music was gone. Music transmitted I's subjectivity, his mental states so to speak.

Characters: Ickarus is fine as a narcissistic and shallow "being" with just a gift for something. When the shrink asks him if he ever read about Buddhism (given he mentioned "reincarnation") or when he saw she wrote a book about famous artist who were also drug addicts, he just didn't care). Mathilde was barely there. I wonder if her mouth is "natural", but she's sexy enough even with that stupid Adidas outfit. Her role just lacks "something" (transmitting any feelings?), but is nevertheless believable at least. She's "his woman", but is not exactly crazy about him at all. In fact, at his first act of violence, she outright leaves. And I, as a Latin American perhaps, was surprised at how little emotions do they show to each other. She is shown crying when he had a relapse, but when sitting on a bench, she is distant, talking about her girlfriend as if she changed shoes. Then when he's out and in again at the clinic, she's not even there. Finally they're together. She dropped gorgeous Corinna. There it goes, she changed shoes again :). Beautiful Alice is right on track. His psychiatric hospital mates are fine, specially Crystal Pete. Prof. Dr. Petra Paul is gelid and coolly detached, but in her context, that's probably what they are like. She swallows insults from I. & M. like we'd take a diet Coke. We only see her really communicate with I. once, the "fly trapped on the glass" scene. Not much for somebody who's supposed to help, but her "directive" scenes, like when she is leading the "movement therapy", or when she appears in the middle of the night with the guards during I's induced mayhem are fine. She is just "efficient" at putting limits . Social Psychology: I've realized in this film I saw no feelings whatsoever. Neither family, love, friendship, nothing. Not even good sex. Yes, the menage a trois is well, but even that doesn't satisfy I. (at all). I wonder what would. Or how would he be when older. "Living of social security", like the only sound phrase he ever uttered (threw at his brother): you study at your 20s, work in your 30s and live off the state from your 40s on. I's family structure is also weird coming from a Latin American like me. His Bach loving Vater is concerned but only shows up once at the hospital, talks with the shrink after he relapsed twice in the film. He never offers him to live with him, SOMETHING, besides a "moving" hug. Same or even worse for his brother. Definitely, Germans are colder than most of us! His "social explanation" on how "the fall of the Berlin wall did harm to people" is OK for a dad but poor for a movie. If things were like that, half of Eastern Germany would be junkies :)! Philosophy: Morally, "Hungarian" Mathilde is the only "straight" character of this parallel world, without any "bad" attitude. Maybe the director/ writer's favourite? Like when Alice proposes her to be the manager of another DJ and she, predictably, and showing remarkable bad acting stills, starts to recite: "It's about Ikarus, I don't care for a job!". Surprisingly enough, a bit later she ends up working at the door of the club. Economics: Which takes me to how poor this world is. The (big) club owner asks her: "what do you want, "door or bar?". These are the only 2 jobs available, besides the DJ. How sad. The hospital, even with means and personnel that one would only dream of here in the 3rd world, is nevertheless shown like a sad barren place to be. Again, a cautionary tale, specially because it just doesn't mean to. Sociologically interesting, specially living in other parts of the world where both that and the fact that the state covered most of I. expensive treatment in private, clean cells, with only about 5 inmates in the whole facility makes me brood: even in a lunatic asylum you live better than most Third World dweller.

Everybody who is at the club is on drugs (even the owner, and, of course, the dealer). The blonde who is after Ikarus looks fine on the dance floor, but yawning in the morning when she pops up at I's home right before his big album presentation... she is the image of despair. The dealer and her look like people without anything to say, a ruin even when young. This is a nice film to show to people who think drugs are or could ever be "cool", by the way. Without being "didactic", in the sense that, for instance, he does throw away his pills and still "perform like if nothing has happened". When somebody offers you drugs, think: Do I want to be wandering inside the subway's rail, perpetually giving my money to some idiot just to be "high", then be very depressed out of nothing, and even when treated, so sleepy that I cant' tie my shoes or (untreated) think that standing up on the subway is a "trip", something that deserves a rotating camera/ "whew" feeling.

Great film! Watch it on a theatre with good sound, it surely delivers punch after punch. And I don't mean only the music.

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