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Taxi Zum Klo Review

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Taxi Zum Klo is the semi-autobiographical account of a Berlin schoolteacer (Frank Ripploh) as he tries to balance hedonism and his desire for a long and happy life.

★★★★

Hailed on its release in 1980 as a landmark in gay cinema, Frank Ripploh’s unrepentantly graphic debut now stands as an invaluable record of pre-AIDS attitudes to sex, drugs and domesticity. Essentially autobiographical, it centres on Berlin teacher Ripploh’s ceaseless search for chance encounters and risky thrills, and his growing concern (after moving in with theatre manager Bernd Broaderup) about whether his libido and bank balance will enable him to pursue his cherished lifestyle into old age. Lacing the cottaging and bedroom action with clips from porn flicks, Ripploh succeeds in lampooning promiscuity as much as celebrating it. But grimmer realism intrudes during the forensic rectal examination and the bouts of bickering with Broaderup, which demonstrate that being a couple is pretty much the same, whatever one’s orientation.

If you can stomach the rectal probing, this is a fierce and funny dissection of a life lived on the edge.

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