Berlin Calling

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Berlin Calling
Berlin calling poster.jpg
Directed byHannes Stöhr
Produced byKarsten Aurich
Screenplay byHannes Stöhr
Music by
Edited byAnne Fabini
Distributed byMovienet
Release date
  • 2008 (2008)
Running time
109 minutes

Berlin Calling is a 2008 German tragicomedy film directed by Hannes Stöhr. The film depicts the events following DJ and producer Ickarus's (Paul Kalkbrenner) institutionalization for drug abuse.


Berlin techno DJ and producer Martin Karow (nicknamed Ickarus) is touring the techno clubs of the world with his girlfriend Mathilde while working on a new studio album that he plans to release soon. In order to be able to work and party day and night, Ickarus takes all kinds of drugs, mainly supplied by his friend Erbse at the clubs in Berlin. After consuming a PMA-containing ecstasy tablet, Ickarus goes into a drug-induced psychosis, eventually finding himself naked in a Berlin hotel where his antics attract the attention of the hotel staff. He is taken to a psychiatric hospital in Berlin, which puts his album and upcoming live performances in danger.

At the hospital, Ickarus gets to know the other patients, namely Crystal Pete and Goa Gebhard, and is slightly unnerved by their idiosyncrasies. The clinic's head doctor Dr. Paul recommends that Ickarus take a break from his music and touring to recover in the hospital under her care. She emphasizes that Ickarus's commitment to the hospital is purely voluntary. Although Ickarus agrees to stay at the hospital, he continues work on his album by having his laptop and recording equipment brought to the clinic. Ickarus leaves the clinic and relapses into drug use after visiting with Erbse. Alice, the head of the record label Vinyl Distortion (to which Ickarus is signed), tells Mathilde that the release of Ickarus's new album is indefinitely delayed. Upon hearing this, Ickarus visits Alice and destroys her office when she refuses to speak to him.

Upset at Ickarus's lack of progress, Mathilde moves out of their apartment and in with her lesbian co-worker Corinna. After receiving a 25,000 Euro tax bill, Ickarus tries to visit Mathilde at Corinna's apartment, but she refuses to see him. Dr. Paul tells Ickarus that since he refuses to follow his therapy schedule and leaves the clinic without permission, he must leave the clinic. That night, after Dr. Paul has left, Ickarus convinces the clinic's intern to allow him to throw a going-away party. The party quickly gets out of hand when Ickarus brings drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. Dr. Paul arrives at the clinic and locks Ickarus in a room.

Ickarus's father (a priest who also appeared earlier in the film) and Mathilde argue with Dr. Paul for his release. She eventually relents. After his production label re-signs him, Ickarus proposes calling his new album Titten, Techno, und Trompeten (Tits, Techno, and Trumpets). Alice says that the record company prefers a more "international" title, and decides on the name Berlin Calling. The album cover photography is done in the clinic with Ickarus still dressed as a patient.

Cast and characters[edit]

As listed on the film's official website,[1] the cast of Berlin Calling included:

  • Paul Kalkbrenner (Martin "Ickarus" Karow)
  • Rita Lengyel (Mathilde)
  • Corinna Harfouch (Professor Doctor Petra Paul)
  • Araba Walton (Mathilde's lesbian friend)
  • Peter Schneider (Crystal Pete, a patient at the clinic)
  • RP Kahl (Ickarus's friend and drug-supplier Erbse)
  • Henriette Müller (Ickarus's friend Jenny)
  • Mehdi Nebbou (Jamal)
  • Udo Kroschwald (Ickarus's father, a priest)
  • Megan Gay (Alice, Head of Vinyl productions)
  • Maximilian Mauff (Alex, the clinic intern)
  • Peter Moltzen (Ickarus's brother, Stefan Karow)
  • Dirk Borchardt (Club boss Tom)
  • Erdal Yildiz (Hotel worker)
  • Ernest Allan Hausmann (Ernesto)
  • André Hoffmann (Franz)
  • Caspar Bódy (Goa Gebhard, a patient at the clinic)
  • Paul Preuss (BMW-Michi)
  • Sascha Funke (as himself)
  • Housemeister (as himself)
  • Onze (as himself)
  • Fritz Kalkbrenner (as himself)
  • Peggy Laubinger (as herself)
  • Frank Künster (Frank the bouncer)
  • Nico Bäthgeh (Nico)


The soundtrack of Berlin Calling (which shares the film's title) was recorded exclusively by Paul Kalkbrenner, with the exception of the song "Mango", which was recorded by Sascha Funke.[2] The song "Sky and Sand" features vocals by Kalkbrenner's brother, Fritz.[2] Some tracks on the album (including "Gebrünn Gebrünn" and "Altes Kamuffel") were edits of previously released songs and re-released as "Berlin Calling Edits".[2]


  1. ^ "Berlin Calling – Cast&Crew". Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Berlin Calling – The Soundtrack". Retrieved 23 June 2011.

External links[edit]