“I’m your normal, tired, neurotic, polymorphously perverse teacher.”
A sexually adventurous gay schoolteacher (Frank Ripploh) resists monogamy with his new partner (Bernd Broaderup).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Character Studies
- German Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this humorous cult film by German writer/director Frank Ripploh (who essentially plays himself) is a “self-indulgent”, “crudely made, disjointed, but intriguing autobiographical account.” Ripploh isn’t afraid to portray himself as a bit of a jerk: he’s the kind of guy who, lacking toilet paper, wipes his bum on a guest towel, then nonchalantly puts it back on the rack. Later, when he openly cheats on his new partner (the good-looking yet frustratingly passive Broaderup), we’re disturbed, but not all that surprised — and, at the very least, we respect Ripploh’s honesty about his need for sexual adventure.
Taxi Zum Klo (which translates into “Taxi to the [Public] Toilet”) is especially effective at showing how Ripploh was able to keep his sex life completely separate from his career as a schoolteacher. In one particularly overt instance, Ripploh cross-cuts between innocent shots of his tutoring session with a young male student, and his transvestite friend commenting disparagingly while watching a cautionary school film about a pedophile. It may be a heavy-handed message, but it’s an important one — and it works within the context of the film’s unabashed presentation of explicit gay male sexuality (surely an eye-opener for many at the time).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A no-holds-barred look at male gay life in 1980s Berlin
Yes, both for its status as a cult film and as a cultural window into a unique subculture.