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Item Description
Novelist Christopher Isherwood arrives in Berlin in the
1930’s to stay with poet W.H Auden, his friend and occasional
lover, and is thrilled by the city's thriving gay subculture.
However, the failure of a love affair leaves him heartbroken, so he
sets out on a journey of self-discovery among the chaos of the
German capital.
The 'divinely decadent' Berlin cabaret scene is in full
swing when a young, and wide-eyed Christopher Isherwood arrives in
the city to stay with his close friend, and occasional lover, the
poet W.H Auden. To Isherwood's reserved English sensibility, the
city's thriving gay subculture is thrilling and intoxicating. But
Christopher soon finds himself heartbroken after the failure of a
hopeless love affair, and so sets out on a process of
self-discovery as he forges an identity and place for himself
amidst the chaos of 1930s Berlin.
Period drama based on the author's book.
Widescreen, High Definition
Christopher Isherwood - Matt Smith
Gerald Hamilton - Toby Jones
Jean Ross (a.k.a. Sally Bowles) - Imogen Poots
Kathleen Isherwood - Lindsay Duncan
Caspar - Alexander Doetsch
Wilfrid Landauer - Iddo Goldberg
Fraulein Thurau - Issy Van Ranwyck
Heinz Neddermayer - Douglas Booth
Wystan Auden - Pip Carter
Gerhardt Neddermayer - Tom Wlaschiha
Richard Isherwood - Perry Millward
Fraulein Neddermayer - Gertrude Thoma
Fraulein Schmidt - Clare Louise Connolly
Fraulein Mayer - Maggie Hayes
Bobby Gilbert - Will Kemp
Passport officer - Stuart Graham
Tarty-looking girl - Alana Kerr
Pieps - Faolan Morgan
Directed by: Geoffrey Sax
Matt Smith is impressively louche, saucy and naked as
Christopher Isherwood in Kevin Elyot's adaptation of the writer's
1976 memoir. Christopher and His Kind is Isherwood's odyssey
through 1930s Berlin, which provided the building blocks for his
best-known works, the Berlin stories (Mr Norris Changes Trains,
Goodbye to Berlin and so on) and his best-known character, the
vulnerable nightclub singer Sally Bowles. Here, she is Jean Ross
(Imogen Poots), a gaudy performer who lives opposite Isherwood in a
grim Berlin boarding house. She has hopelessly unattainable dreams
of acting in Hollywood, and attaches herself to exploitative,
unsuitable men. Christopher, encouraged by his lugubriously
aesthetic friend Wystan Auden, trawls Berlin's gay bars where he
falls for a ripped cutie before losing his heart to a
street-sweeper with glorious bone structure. But the casual
brutalities of Nazism imperil Christopher and all his friends. It's
an odd drama; some of the time it feels dry and empty. Yet there
are tender moments and sharp performances from Smith and Toby Jones
as a faded old queen.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Arts series Omnibus visited Christopher Isherwood in
California for this 1969 profile. Appropriately, there's a strong
sense of the place where the novelist found a kind of sanctuary and
we tour Santa Monica with Isherwood in an open-top Ford Mustang. It
was here that his wartime pacifism gave way to a spiritual quest
that looked to the East.
Black and White
Running Time: 45 minutes (approx)
*Picture Quality: Disc One: High Definition (contains
Disc Two: Standard Digital Definition (1969 footage) (contains
* Sound: Dolby Hi-Fi
*Please make sure that you have a multi-region DVD player, as
although it says region-free, this is a U.K./European DVD