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Christopher and His Kind (film)

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Director  Geoffrey Sax
Initial DVD release  June 27, 2011
Duration  
Language  English
7/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Music director  Dominik Scherrer
Country  United Kingdom
Christopher and His Kind (film) movie poster
Release date  20 February 2011: Germany and France (Arte)19 March 2011: UK (BBC Two and BBC HD)
Based on  Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood
Writer  Christopher Isherwood (based on the book by), Kevin Elyot
Cast  Toby Jones (Gerald Hamilton), Imogen Poots (Jean Ross), Lindsay Duncan (Kathleen Isherwood), Iddo Goldberg (Wilfrid Landauer), Issy van Randwyck (Fraulein Thurau), Douglas Booth (Heinz Neddermayer)
Similar movies  Fury, Sexual Chronicles of a French Family, Saved!, C.R.A.Z.Y., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steam: The Turkish Bath

After they fall in love, Christopher brings Heinz to London in 1931 to avoid being persecuted by the fascists, but he loses track of him when Heinz returns to Germany.

Contents

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes

Christopher and His Kind is a 2011 BBC television film. It tells the story of Christopher Isherwoods life in Berlin in the early 1930s. The film, adapted by Kevin Elyot from Isherwoods autobiography Christopher and His Kind, was produced by Mammoth Screen and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Isherwood is played by Matt Smith, whilst the cast also includes Toby Jones, Douglas Booth, Imogen Poots and Iddo Goldberg.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes

In 1931 budding author Christopher Isherwood goes to Berlin at the invitation of his friend W. H. Auden for the gay sex that abounds in the city. Whilst working as an English teacher his housemates include bewigged old queen Gerald Hamilton and would-be actress Jean Ross, who sings tunelessly in a seedy cabaret club. They and others he meets get put into his stories. After a fling with sexy rent boy Caspar he falls for street sweeper Heinz, paying medical bills for the boy's sickly mother, to the disapproval of her other son, Nazi Gerhardt. With Fascism rapidly rising Christopher returns to London with Heinz but is unable to prevent his return to Germany when his visa expires. Years later Christopher, now a successful writer, returns to Berlin for a final meeting with Heinz, now married with children.

Plot

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Lee later said The Wicker Man was his best film Rex Features

In Los Angeles in 1976, Christopher Isherwood begins writing his memoir. The film flashes back to 1931 as Christopher prepares to leave England for Germany, against the wishes of his mother Kathleen. On the train he meets Gerald Hamilton, an English neer-do-well of Irish descent, who suggests that Christopher take a room at the boarding house where he lives. Upon his arrival in Berlin, Christopher meets his friend Wystan Auden, who takes him to the Cosy Corner, a seedy gay club populated by hustlers.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Superstar Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere centre signed up for the sequel to hit

Christopher takes up residence at Geralds boarding house under landlady Fraulein Thurau. There he becomes fast friends with Jean Ross, an aspiring actress who sings at an underground club. He also begins a tumultuous affair with Caspar, one of the rentboys from the Cosy Corner. Their relationship continues until Caspar abruptly disappears. Christopher does not see him until many months later and is horrified to see that he has joined the National Socialists.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Matt Smith as writer Christopher Isherwood in Christopher and His Kind

To earn a living Christopher offers English lessons. One of his students is Wilfrid Landauer, the wealthy Jewish owner of a department store. He entreats Christopher to take a political stand against Nazism but Christopher, as an artist, initially demurs. Herr Landauers home is ransacked by the Nazis and they lead a boycott against his and other Jewish-owned businesses. Christopher last sees Wilfrid when their eyes sorrowfully meet over a bonfire of books the Nazis are burning.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Christopher und Heinz Eine Liebe in Berlin 2011 Original Trailer

Heinz Neddermayer, a street sweeper whom Christopher espies from a cafe, enters Christophers life and they fall in love. Frau Neddermeyer looks kindly upon Christopher but Heinzs brother Gerhardt, a Nazi sympathizer, detests him. When Frau Neddermayer enters a sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis, Gerhardt angrily advises Heinz that Christopher and Jean are no longer welcome in his home.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Fox Searchlight

Bobby Gilbert, the American steel heir, whom Jean had been courting to take her to Hollywood, departs Berlin suddenly, leaving Jean bereft and pregnant. She pawns her jewellery to pay for an abortion and soon after leaves Berlin as well.

Christopher and His Kind (film) movie scenes Christopher Eccleston at the World Premiere of Thor Dark World at the Odeon Leicester

With the Nazis gaining in power, Christopher and Heinz decide to leave Berlin. They travel to England where Christopher tries to secure permanent residency for Heinz. Their hopes are dashed, however, when a passport officer denies Heinz a permit to remain in the country. The couple decides to travel around Europe, avoiding a return to Nazi Germany.

Several years later Jean and Christopher chance upon each other in an outdoor cafe in England. They reminisce and he tells her that Heinz was eventually arrested and sentenced to prison, followed by a stint in the army. Jean confides that she does not miss Berlin.

The scene shifts to 1952. Christopher has returned to Berlin for the first time since 1934, to write a magazine article. He reunites with Heinz who, following the partition of the city, ended up in East Berlin. He has married and has a son named Christoph. Heinz expresses his wish that Christopher should find a family of his own and suggests that he and his family could move to America and become Christophers family as well. Christopher refuses to commit to the idea but promises to remain in contact with Heinz. He visits his old boarding house for a joyful reunion with Fraulein Thurau, whose home ended up being in the American sector of the city. She presents him with the dolphin clock that adorned his old room, exhorting him to look at it and remember happy times.

Closing titles convey that the next year, 1953, Christopher met Don Bachardy and the two remained together until Isherwoods death. Christopher and His Kind was published in 1976 and Heinz, shocked at its frankness, never communicated with Christopher again.

Wrestling with caspar christopher and his kind bbc two


Cast

  • Matt Smith as Christopher Isherwood
  • Toby Jones as Gerald Hamilton
  • Pip Carter as W. H. Auden
  • Douglas Booth as Heinz Neddermeyer
  • Imogen Poots as Jean Ross
  • Alexander Dreymon as Caspar
  • Tom Wlaschiha as Gerhardt Neddermeyer
  • Issy Van Randwyck as Fraulein Thurau
  • Iddo Goldberg as Wilfrid Landauer
  • Lindsay Duncan as Kathleen Isherwood
  • Perry Millward as Richard Isherwood
  • Production

    Christopher and His Kind was shot in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Members of the Ulster Unionist Party protested the filming because of the large swastika banners hung from buildings during the production. As a result, scenes with the banners could only be shot early in the morning or late at night. To research the role, Matt Smith read Isherwoods novels, watched video footage of Isherwood and traveled to the United States to meet Isherwoods longtime companion, Don Bachardy. "Just seeing the love Don had for him, and to be in the space where Christopher had lived and written was very informative." Because of its interest in Smith as the Eleventh Doctor in the Doctor Who franchise, the BBC issued strict instructions that Smith was not to appear completely nude in the film. Said director Geoffrey Sax, "They told me I must not show Doctor Who’s bare bottom. They were quite firm about that, even though Matt was playing an entirely different character. They have invested a lot in him as the 11th Doctor and were due to make a second series with him, so they were obviously anxious to protect their property. So I said: OK, you won’t see his bare behind."

    The dolphin clock that appears in the film is the actual clock from Isherwoods room in Berlin. Don Bachardy lent it to the production.

    Similar Movies

    Christopher Isherwood wrote the story for Christopher and His Kind and I Am a Camera. Douglas Booth appears in Christopher and His Kind and Worried About the Boy. Fraulein (1958). The Man Who Crossed Hitler (2011). David (1979).

    Critical reception

    Sam Wollaston of The Guardian strongly praised Christopher and His Kind, citing an excellent performance from Smith, whom he calls "appealingly rakish, thoroughly disreputable, charming, posh, clever and funny" and compares favorably to John Hurts performances as Quentin Crisp. He similarly praised several of the other performers and applauded the film for its masterful evocation of its time period, concluding, "Brilliant, top drama, well done." Michael Hogan for The Sunday Telegraph concurred in this assessment, calling the film "handsomely shot, lovingly recreating the period, but with a twinkling, tongue-in-cheek feel – not to mention some lusty sex scenes – that stops it becoming too misty-eyed". He echoed the kudos for the performances from Smith and the supporting cast.

    Less impressed was John Lloyd for the Financial Times who found the gay sex scenes discomfiting. Additionally he thought that the acting was not intense enough, finding the scenes between Christopher and his mother to be the most effective. The film, he concluded, "wasn’t great but it was bravely done, all the same".

    References

    Christopher and His Kind (film) Wikipedia
    Christopher and His Kind (film) IMDb Christopher and His Kind (film) themoviedb.org


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