The Nomi Song, directed by my namesake Andrew Horn, premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival is a great documentary about an extraordinary musician that rewards a second viewing.
As usual a lot of people dashed out of the club after the show and only the dedicated few stayed for some party action with DJ Marty, who is an incredibly funny guy. Some audience comments concerning the movie were recorded, I got my Tensified Chaos autograph that said Die Bitch, Eric from San Francisco did some spray-painting and everybody else was enjoying themselves, dancing on till the early morning hours to finally vanish into the unknown.
Actually I didn’t know what to expect from this evening at the fashionable Barbie-Deinhoffs Bar in Kreuzberg where the screening of They Shoot Moviestars Don’t They? took place. Some Canadian artist called me earlier that day to collect my video projector for a presentation at their regular hang-out and as I knew her as the fashion designer Tensified Chaos, I agreed to help her out.
So I went there, put up the technical equipment, socialised with the resident staff and met Marty the Canadian companion of Chloe, who was telling me about Klaus Nomi. Nomi was a famous Bavarian singer with a high pitched operatic voice (counter tenor) who went to New York for an intense career as a bizarre live act in weird costumes and a painted face that could only make sense in the context of New Wave. His distinctive persona was matched by a futuristic visual style (he called himself Nomi after the SciFi magazine OMNI) and he performed till his untimely death in 1983 as one of the first prominent victims of AIDS.
The 14 minute experimental video short They Shoot Moviestars Don’t They? is based on the play, Total Eclipse by D-L Alvarez. It looks like Raymond Pettibon picked up his Hi-8 again, that means shaky camera and acting-wise total improvisation in portraying the characters. The editing and the camera work could be called amateurish but it contributes to the shoddy art-video look that was intended (a fucked up camera was used).
It’s a sort of In-Scene thing, as you have all these well known people from the Berlin Club Scene acting out different characters e.g. Steve Morell as Johnny Thunders, Dart as Bebe Buell, Namosh as Joey Arias, Chloe as Cookie Mueller and even Peaches is there. Best performance goes to Marty (in Drag) paying homage to Divine in John Waters Pink Flamingos (no, he´s not eating dogshit but giving something similar to a poodle!).
In the end the whole piece is mostly about name-dropping and makes very little sense in terms of content but it´s fun to watch if you know the faces and if you can decode the given star-references in music, art and fashion to early 80’s NYC. It’s filmed on location at Barbie Deinhoffs, White Trash and the Fleischerei and the best quote is, “not everybody coming from Germany is a total German” which isn’t a revelation but an amusing statement in itself.