Taxi Zum Klo, Queer Life as It Should Be

If Taxi Zum Klo is a success here in London there is hope for this country, for the future of queer culture, and there will be somewhere else for young queer artists to turn to for inspiration, a place of joyous sex and kind relationships and fun, somewhere that is not the dreary middle-class shit that we’re brainwashed with in this country, awful sex-negative stuff from writers and artists like… Oh, why even mention their name?

Taxi Zum Klo is what our lives should have been like, what our lives can be like, and are like, if we take care of each other and enjoy sex. This is a movie of great joy and genuine love and how it’s possible to live as a good person in all realms, to be a school teacher and to love the taste of another man’s arse. This is the film I’d want to make if I made films. This is a film that is up there with the sublime and sexy Drôle de Félix. A story of how men can love men, how men can enjoy each other’s bodies and each other’s company, whether they are at home in bed, at a party, at work, or in a public toilet. This is the movie that will show you how beautiful and almost unbearably moving it is to eat breakfast with a man you have just made love with. The scene in Taxi Zum Klo where Frank ad Bernd (lovers in real life, too) stroke each other’s heads is one of the greatest moments recorded on film. Scripted or not, it’s there for us to see. Thank you, Frank Ripploh.

This is the kind of movie that show us that making art out of our own lives is still necessary and still engaging and still… still so many stories to be told, and so many ways to tell them. This film is of its time, but because it is a classic, a true classic in the sense that it is timeless, and beautiful and intelligent and joyous and perfect, oh, yes, fuck it, in every way… that’s what makes it a classic. And you will come back to it again and again and it will be totally familiar and completely new. You will want to watch it over and over until you have absorbed it into your blood and being and guts and been uplifted and transformed by it.

This is the life, queer brothers and sisters, that we have always dreamt of, always tried to have, always hoped that we could extend even when it stopped being like this, because if you are an artist, a queer artist, you were once like this, you were once like Frank and Bernd. And you were in Berlin, no matter where you were. Just think, the film came out in 1981. That is thirty years ago. I was eighteen at the time and reading On the Road and dreaming about being a beatnik, a hippy, about being Allen Ginsberg when he was young and beautiful and having boyfriends and lovers and sucking cock and being up all night and then going to work, or going to the beach, or whatever I was doing at the time. I was just finishing school and I was having sex with older men in the small town I grew up in, but, my god, my dreams were Taxi Zum Klo. Everything I ever wanted is there in Taxi Zum Klo, and thank fuck, I lived like that for a long time and even now there are days when my life is that. But we have lost so much of that kindness. The internet has killed so much of our kindness, and AIDS has killed some of that, too, and so many of us, it has killed.

But here we have Taxi Zum Klo back to remind us about something. That it is a joy and an act of love to piss into each other’s mouth, and a joy to smile at each other over breakfast, and to sit in the bath together and shampoo each other’s hair, and we don’t need a fucking civil partnership to make this happen. We just need to enjoy our bodies and enjoy fucking and being fucked and enjoy each other’s bodies and the way they feel close together. And with that touch and smell on our skin, on our fingers, we go out into the world and teach children, and make business deals, and serve customers, and open bookshops and chat to the old guy next to us on the bus. And smile, fuck it, smile. And if we forget, we have Taxi Zum Klo to remind us. Thank you, Frank Ripploh.

Buy a copy of Taxi Zum Klo, you’re going to want to watch it often

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