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A Tribute to Debbie Harry

Filmstill from FOREIGNER: A woman with short blonde hair, a cigarette in the corner of her mouth and a white jacket has her eyes closed. A film clapperboard next to her.

As the lead singer of Blondie, Deborah Harry made music history and was a pioneer in male-dominated rock and pop culture as the self-determined frontwoman of an otherwise all-male band. „I never wanted to approach rock’n’roll from a man’s point of view“, she declared in 1982 describing the persona she had created for herself: „The initial idea was to be desirable, feminine, and vulnerable, but a resilient, tenacious wit at the same time rather than a poor female sapped of her strength by heartthrob and unrequited love.“ Subsequent generations of female musicians, from Madonna to Lady Gaga, have been inspired by her: "I was highly influenced by Debbie Harry, when I started out as a singer and songwriter. I thought she was the coolest chick in the universe." (Madonna) – "Hmmm, I haven’t thought of myself as a 'chick' in some time, but the universe is a good reference." (DH)

Apart from pursuing her career as a singer, Harry has also played in more than 50 films. Compared to her stardom as a musician, Harry's success in film remained limited, which may be partly due to unfortunate decisions. At the insistence of her record company, she turned down a role in Blade Runner (1982), which would go on to help Daryl Hannah make her breakthrough. We will show a small selection of the films Harry played that she herself particularly appreciates – " In fact, I'm most proud of being part of HAIRSPRAY and VIDEODROME, and of working with Catalan director Isabel Coixet “ – as well as three New York underground films by Amos Poe from our archive. (Hans-Joachim Fetzer)

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media