Jacob Frössén directs a film about the Neu! drummer and his botched relationship with a Swedish girl in the summer of 1971
A new film about Neu! and La Düsseldorf's Klaus Dinger is currently in the making. Called Heartbeat – its working title – the film was inspired by a 1990s interview Dinger made with journalist Michael Dee in Pop magazine.
“At the end of the 90s I read an interview in a Swedish magazine with Klaus Dinger where he talked about his Swedish girlfriend whom he met in 1971 and with whom he went on vacation in Sweden the same summer,” explains director Jacob Frössén. “In the interview he also talked about his relation to drumming, and since I’m a drummer myself I was really intrigued. I believe it was the Swedish connection and the fact that they went to a lake near Södertälje (where I have spent many summers) to record the water sounds for “Lieber Honig” and "Im Glück" [both from 1972 debut album Neu!] that fascinated me, and the interview got stuck in mind.”
Over the last few years Frössén has been travelling, filming and interviewing people inspired by Dinger and his groups, including Iggy Pop, Emma Gaze, Bobby Gillespie, Gudrun Gut and Stephen Morris, among others. Heartbeat features photos, film footage and artwork approved by Miki Yui of the Klaus Dinger Archive and La Düsseldorf member Hans Lampe. The film’s plot is based around the break-up of that 1971 relationship and how it inspired much of his drumming; it also considers where Dinger’s work sits in Germany’s postwar musical landscape and drive for progress.
“I see the film as a dreamy kind of abstract experience and also an attempt to get inside Klaus Dinger’s head for a while,” continues Frössén. “The aim is to make a film about Klaus’s personal history and his view on things. But I guess that in the end it’s a film about life, music and love. Universal themes that most people can relate to.”
Co-produced by Swedish National Television (SVT) and funded by The Malik Bendjelloul Memorial Foundation, the film features Kim Gordon’s voice-overs spoken as its prologue and epilogue. Like its title, its release date is still to be finalised.