Dir. Roland Klick, 1970.
88 min. West Germany. 35mm.
In its original English-language soundtrack.
With Marquard Bohm, Anthony Dawson, Mario Adorf, and Mascha Rabben
Imported 35mm print courtesy of Filmgalerie 451, Berlin, Germany. Special thanks to Frieder Schlaich and Alex Jovanovic.
Roland Klick’s fleabitten contemporary acid western concerns the maneuvers of three men and a suitcase full of cash in a decrepit mining town. The lexicon is straight up Leone stripped to its essential gestures, iconography and set-ups with a poetic sense of landscape recalling Terrence Malick and Zabriskie Point. Another way of framing it is El Topo with machine guns; Jodorowsky himself called Deadlock “fantastic—a bizarre, glowing film.” Krautrock legends Can provide the soundtrack, and their pounding toms, searing Morricone-overdrive guitars and noirish tango are a major presence. Their score for Deadlock also represents the first appearances of vocalist Damo Suzuki, who was with the band for their classic albums Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days.
Initially achieving commercial success, Klick was not part of the Young German Cinema filmmakers so widely known and respected today, who ostracized him from the international film community—all too effectively, essentially writing him out of film history and sending him into early retirement. German distributor Filmgalerie 451 has led a campaign to recirculate Klick’s films, which are a staggering revelation to those who fail to understand how critics and programmers have overlooked them for so long. We are pleased to present what might the first-ever 35mm New York City screening of Deadlock (or any of Klick’s films) in close proximity to the to the director’s 75th birthday, July 4.