I went to the cinema yesterday to watch “Atomic Blonde” which goes by the name of “Atómica” here in Spain.
It’a a spy movie, albeit an unusual one. Charlize Theron goes out of her wat to play a femme-fatale MI6 Secret agent, and John Goodman is in it for a nice final twist of the plot, but better go to the movies and see it happen yourself.
What I want to talk about is the soundtrack and the production design of the movie. I liked both very much, as it recreates pre-german-reunification Berlin perfectly: The claustrophobic, crowded and creatively very productive shithole it was back then, the omnipresence of the fact that it was a West-German city surrounded by the Soviet Zone / GDR and the Berlin Wall, the images of the Brandenburg Gate behind the Wall, in the eastern part of the city, the Platform in the West to see the Wall, the security measures and beyond (I’ve actually stood there once) and the depressive and grey eastern part of the city. Berlin is still there, by the way, but it is just a crowded and creative shithole now, and has lost the clautrophobia caused by heving been a walled city.
But the best part is the very 80ies soundtrack. Meet David Bowie (who, in my opinion at least produced his greatest masterpieces in his time in Berlin), The Cure, New Order, Nena and other New-Wave, Punk, Post-Punk and New German Wave, a.k.a NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) bands. As far as Falco’s “Der Kommissar” (his second hit after “Maschine Brennt”) goes, the german version would probably have suited the movie better. Falco is austrian, by the way, but that didn’t keep him from being wildly popular in Germany, after all it didn’t keep us from being very fond of a short, ill-tempered austrian with a funny mustache around in the 30ies of the 20th century ;)
As in “Baby Driver”, which I watched some weeks ago, the soundtrack which will bring fond memories to anyone in his mid-forties or beyond is quintessential in driving the pace of the movie.
If you’re older than fortysomething, go and watch it. You will certainly enjoy the soundtrack, probably the movie as well. If you’re younger, possibly as well. I did.