Eckhart Schmidt's DER FAN (1982)
This art-horror cult classic is a trance-like tale of teenage idolatry and angst, set to a mesmerizing original synth soundtrack by Rheingold.
Oct 11, 8:00 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
DER FAN (THE FAN)
directed by Eckhart Schmidt
1982, West Germany, 92m, DCP
DCP courtesy of American Genre Film Archive (AGFA)
A precursor to art-horror shockers like Takashi Miike’s AUDITION, the West German cult classic DER FAN is a trance-like, ritualistic tale of teenage idolatry and angst. 16-year-old Simone (Désirée Nosbusch) is so obsessed with a new-wave pop musician known as “R” that she stops eating and sleeping. But once she meets her idol and the reality falls short of her dreams, she decides to take revenge. With a mesmerizing original synth soundtrack by Rheingold and stylish art-direction pervaded by the specter of Germany’s fascist past, DER FAN slowly builds in dread to a climax that is not easily forgotten. Never officially released in the US, the film’s underground reputation has slowly burnished through repertory screenings and a belated home video release in recent years; we present it here as a festive Halloween chiller.
In German with English subtitles. Special thanks to Bret Berg (American Genre Film Archive).
"It’s the final third act that makes the Der Fan notorious, but it’s the slow-burn of what precedes that makes it truly effective horror. The film’s otherworldliness reflects Simone’s deteriorating mental state... All of the feathered hair and sleek ‘80s aesthetics only enhance the fetishistic symbols that hypnotize Simone." -Stephanie Monohan, Screen Slate