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ASPHALT NIGHT

Germany, 1980 (MIFF 1981, New Directors)

Director: Peter Fratzcher

The story of a night in Berlin. The story of an encounter. The story of a song. The meeting of two generations. The film opens with the group MC 5 playing Kick Out the Jams, one of the political hymns which in 1 968 symbolized the rebellion of a generation. The opening scene is black and white. Twelve years have passed since then.

Listening to the music is a 30-year-old musician who calls himself Angel and still believes in the ideals of 1968. He has been working for years on a composition which will express his experiences, hopes and longings; tonight he succeeds.

He succeeds with the help of an under-age punk who calls himself Johnny and who has sought shelter from the rain in Angel's sports car. This is how their brief encounter begins. At first Angel is patronizing; he drives Johnny around in his car and helps him to get out of a scrape with the police, But Johnny is not one to accept a substitute father gratefully. Angel's resignation, his sorrow over unrealized ideals and his self-pity are juxtaposed with the nihilism of Johnny's generation, which is growing up without a future in the early 1980s.

”Another of those delightful low-budget pictures (this one in the range of $250,000) being made these days in West Germany, Peter Fratzcher's Asphalt Night is about rock ‘n' roll, punk attitudes, and what it's like to roam the streets of Berlin from dusk to dawn in a single night of adventure at various hot-spots, peep-shows, recording studios and even churches (to hear an organ played by a friend) in a common effort to nurse a song into existence... Well acted by non-professionals, Asphalt Night overcomes its imperfections by aiming for the tastes of a young public and simply trying to entertain.”

Ron Holloway Variety

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