Cigarette Burns Cinema is back at the Barbican with a very twisted Valentine’s day film – The Fan – 1982.
Pop idols profess their undying love for us; serenade us from our screens; gaze seductively down at us from the posters on our walls. But the reality is all illusion; a glossy sham.
Simone is the devoted fan of the film’s title, eagerly devouring every scrap of publicity the Gary Numan-esque pop star R tosses to his teen followers. In school, she spends her classes dreamily writing R unanswered love letters; at home, she stalks the postman in desperate hopes of a reply. She is entranced by R‘s every television appearance; he seems to look directly through the TV screen at her, singing only to her. This must be love.
When they finally meet, their lives are forever changed.
This West German film brilliantly maps the loneliness and confusion of adolescence, then goes further, exploring the terrifying depths of fanaticism and the looming shadow of Germany’s own dark past. Rivalling the grim intensity of that other German cult classic Christiane F, The Fan (aka Der Fan) is not a film you will easily leave behind in the cinema.