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The Nomi Song

THE NOMI SONG

It’s hard to say which made a greater impression – his voice or the way he looked with his luminously painted white face? Klaus Nomi’s countertenor register and his outrageous outfits – greatly admired by David Bowie, for whom he later designed costumes – soon made him an icon of New York’s underground scene. By the 1970s, he was an integral part of New York’s alternative culture, appearing in films, performing in clubs and making countless records. Nomi’s stage show oscillated between his own particular interpretations of Saint-Saëns “Samson and Delilah”, the Donna Summer hit “I Feel Love” and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”. When he died in 1983 from an AIDS-related infection, he was by no means at the height of his popularity. Whether one encounters him on posthumous CD releases or commercials for “Jägermeister” bitters – Klaus Nomi is as much in the public eye today as he was during his lifetime. In his documentary, Andrew Horn tells the story of Klaus Nomi from his birth as Klaus Spender in Bavaria in 1944 to his later stardom in New York. The film includes excerpts from Nomi’s shows but also features interviews with his relatives, his former singing teacher and his many friends and colleagues. Klaus Nomi himself is even in on the proceedings – in the shape of a life-size mechanical doll created by the artist Pat Keck.

Germany 2003, 96 min

by

Andrew Horn

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