photos: Berlin – Sounds of an Era
“The city had a jewel-like sparkle, especially at night, that didn’t exist in Paris”
Berlin in the 20′s: With the Jazz emerging and the dresses shortening, a new feeling of life entered the city, invigorating its nightlife. The time frame of the Weimar Republic might have set the tone for the capital’s later years, up until the now – including wild dancing, loud music and free spirit.
The city was in a blaze of glory – with the horror’s of the war and the cultural scene ever-changing – and it has some amazing contemporary witnesses and their music that are testaments for this unique period.
I wonder if there is any other club in the world that has people so invested into getting in or not like Berghain. The notorious door policy of the famous techno club, the long lines, the much feared getting-bounced-part. All of this kind of created a whole genre of internet entertainment all dedicated to (ironic or serious) tips on how to pass the strict door men, how to dress and how to behave inside. For us old Berliners this has taken almost comical proportions, but I can’t help it, I still enjoy all of these little projects and articles about it, even though I personally haven’t gone to the club in years.
So here is yet another one, but quite interesting, as it used new technologies that I haven’t seen yet in this form. It’s a virtual Berghain trainer that simulates the door situation (minus the long cues and the actual bouncers of the club) through an interactive video…
It’s hard to think of a film that has tapped so well into the Berlin party scene. Last year’s Victoria opened on a club night, but quickly took us elsewhere. Certain soundtracks have used adrenaline-fueled techno to help tell their film’s stories – Run Lola Run comes to mind. And certainly there have been films about partying specifically, like 24-Hour Party People or Berlin Calling. But Der Nachtmahr might be the best film ever to weave the pounding, textural sounds that define Berlin into an immersive, exciting story. And it’s amazing!
We open on a warning: “The strobe effects in this movie may cause seizures”. Also: “This movie should be played loud!” And it’s true! There’s a special feeling of being in a loud, intense club – it’s one of frenzy, euphoria and disorientation, punctuated by surreal melodies and anchored to powerful beats. Der Nachtmahr is full of these things, but it doesn’t use these sights and sounds gratuitously – it all makes sense, often underscoring the psychological state of the protagonist.
The movie is a thriller. Not quite a horror, not gory, not gross. It does keep your heart rate up, does have some gasps and edge-of-your-seat moments. The lead girl is super cool and really easy on the eyes, and her struggle is an intense, fun one to identify with. The overall meaning of the plot is labyrinthine and ambiguous – I certainly cannot say what really happened, even. In this sense, it’s sort of a Lynchian film, with some Requiem for a Dream vibes. It’s a super cool movie and everyone should check it out!
So you finally made it into the club! Now what?
After spending hours reading blog after blog about how to get into <insert your favorite Berlin nightclub>, you are finally ready to put on your dancing shoes and experience Berlin nightlife firsthand. Your outfit is on point (aka black). You managed to queue for over an hour without cracking a smile, much less breathe. You researched who was DJing and successfully memorized enough German to confidently tell the door guy how many people were in your party (Ich bin allein, danke). Congrats! You’re in. Now it’s time to have some fun.
Wait, not so fast. Just because you managed to fool the staff into thinking you’re a regular doesn’t mean that you’re ready to hit the dance floor quite yet. Before you pat yourself on the back, I encourage you to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the following Berlin nightlife etiquette tips.
Twingpigs, photo: Daniel Müller
For our latest guide we have once again teamed up with the lovely Laura Le Marchand from Down by Retro and Neukölln Shopping Nacht to give you the best of her favorite district: Neukölln. After we extensively covered all the shops and cafes in our previous collaborations we thought we’d give you something different this time: A nightlife guide including some of the hottest bars, parties and clubs of the popular district. All of these serve as perfect spots to drink and dance after an evening full of shopping and mingling at the Neukölln Shopping Night, which goes into its 6th edition this coming Saturday (May 7, 2016). Once again all the trendy spots in various neighborhoods of Neukölln will be open until 22h and offer some kind of special or mini event in their stores. More infos on the event and our new Neukölln Nightlife Guide curated by Laura after the jump.
photos: Fredrik Altinell
Of all the big cities in the world, Berlin appears to be somehow mainly one thing: an alternative. Not just another option, an alternative. An alternative to the high-pressure in New York, to the expensive prices in Paris, to the suboptimal living conditions in London. Berlin in itself offers so many alternatives. Every culture has a counter culture here. You have the choice to go along with the mainstream, or to take an alternative route. You have the big Berlinale Film Festival with very few women directors, writers and producers taking part, and than there is the Feminist Film Week. You have all the big theater stages with your typical theater fair, and than there are all these small independent ones showing highly progressive and experimental pieces. You have heaps of conventional night clubs and bars, and you have those where you can appear naked or have sex in the middle of the dance floor.
And of course you have the official Berlin Fashion Week with celebrity craze and commercial labels, with its counter part being the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week that brings young, eccentric and creative designers into the limelight. Exactly this BAFW stands as a perfect example for the parallel worlds inside Berlins fashion scene. I have personally been to both, and I can tell you the audiences they attract couldn’t be further apart from each other. If you don’t believe me, believe your eyes this coming Friday and Saturday when their runway shows dedicated to recycled and avant-garde fashion, respectively, take place.
photos: Anna Agliardi
Last Friday our friends from Indie Magazine celebrated the release of their 50th issue. Call it a nice coincidence or call it destiny – either way, we were super excited that the theme of the new issue is Berlin. Therefore we had quite a good time while browsing through the brand new magazine and discovering a whole bunch of familiar Berlin talents in it. But also the party itself was filled with good old friends we were happy to chat and dance again with. The crowd of the Indie party was super nice and actually a proof that Berlin still has a vibrant and progressive fashionable crowd. Congratulations to Kira, Marieke, Olive and our sweetheart Marlen for your new issue and also for the other 49 amazing magazine issues you have accomplished so far. Our party-flash-hero and talented photographer Anna Agliardi took some shots of the party. Check them out after the jump.
If Berlin were the solar system, Berghain would be the sun for a looooot of people. Some days it seems like everything and everybody is circulating around this place. Throughout the weekend and sometimes on Mondays, I see tons of people wandering through Friedrichshain and over Warschauer Straße, magnetically drawn to Berghain. And as mythical as the place is, as various are the myths of how to get in. In various Italian blogs I read absurd guides on how to be let in by Sven and co. One of the most common (and silly) assumptions is that you have to look gay to get in. But there are many more false assumptions about what the doormen of Berghain like and what they don’t.
A very funny and unique clarification of the myths out there is this cute guide created by talented illustrator Sophia Halamoda. In 28 drawings she presents her own tongue-in-cheek wisdom of how entering Berghain works. Enjoy the hilarious illustrations after the jump.
photo: Francesca Camilla
In Berlin, you’re never too old or too young to rave. This is pretty much the message of this joyful new video starring Berlin’s hippest senior Günther Krabbenhöft, who you can see dancing and partying around town, with young and old. I love how this video shows the diverse side of the city: people with different backgrounds, even kids, just having a laugh and a good time together. It can be so simple and so sweet: that moment when you realize that we can all coexist peacefully together, with no racism, ageism, sexism and other bad “isms” and phobias. Berlin is a place where we can all be together and be who we really are without other people judging us. Let this feeling become even stronger in Berlin, because we have a few more things to overcome. But for now, let’s dance through the streets a bit like Günther here…
The dancing confetti girls first crossed our paths in Paris and London – but ever since they seem to have followed us back home to Berlin. There is a lot of street art in Berlin, but these girls who are often accompanied by the slogan It’s time to dance do stand out to us. Why? Because we feel them so very deeply and they represent an important part of Berlin: Dancing, moving, being free, wild and partying. And the best parties obviously need a lot of confetti.
The different confetti covered pastings of the dancing girls were created by the French street artist SOBR and even though his project ‘It’s time to dance’ has been going on for a while and it seems like he hasn’t made new ones for a while, a lot of the enthusiastic dancers are still around. Pay attention, once you’ve spotted the dancing girls, they will follow you around town. Here are the girls, we found while strolling around our neighborhood…