Earlier this year, Barcelona based gay adult film director Noel Alejandro released his newest work: The erotic film “Call me Ghost”, an 18-minute short about a man being visited by a supernatural presence. But instead of following a more expected narrative of psychological mind games and horror – this movie introduces a surprisingly graceful ghost. Their encounter is followed by a strange attraction. Finding an escape from his immediate sadness, and sensing contact with someone else, the protagonist gives in to his desire and lust. “Could pleasure become a weapon in fighting deep solitude?” With “Call me a Ghost” director Noel Alejandro has merged melancholy, sincerity and sex with his beautiful imagery to a short film that makes you not feel ashamed of your own voyeurism. And while watching, we couldn’t help but recognize the faces of actors Valentin and Pierre. Anyone familiar with Berlin’s sexy nightlife or the visuals of our friends over at Pornceptual, might also have a deja-vu-moment.
Instagram is definitely one of our favorite social media platforms. Behind its simple idea lies a powerful tool to expose much more than cute selfies. Berlin has become a subject for many talented photographers who make us look through their lenses and marvel at the city every day. One of them is Steffimarla, who with over 2 000 posts now, has greatly contributed to the virtual image of our Hauptstadt. She’s been taking pictures all year round – let’s take a look at all the wonderful characteristics that Berlin has been charming us with throughout the seasons.
photo: Paulio Sovari
Every form of artistic expression is capable of doing good in the world. Even ballet dance that was once created to entertain the kings and queens of this world with the movements that seemed almost superhuman at the time can become a tool of change. A change of society that needs to start through the arts from the stages of theaters, operas, and ballet houses. Because there it starts a conversation that is not motivated by politics but by an emotional perspective on our human life and society.
I’m quite excited that Nacho Duato, the current artistic director of Staatsballett Berlin, is creating another piece that is dedicated to a social topic. In his upcoming premiere called Erde he is creating a vision of our world under the current ecological circumstances of climate change. For this unique premiere he collaborated with locals from the Berlin electronic music scene like Pedro Alcalde, Sergio Caballero and Richie Hawtin just to name a few.
On the same night, there will be another premiere of this double bill evening. The British-Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter has now given one of his works to the repertoire of the Staatsballett Berlin called “The Art of Not Looking Back”. Shechter is internationally acclaimed and well known for his controversial pieces.
There is this one time in the year when even Berlin seems innocent. Although we all know what it’s been up to during the cold fall and winter nights, when its untamed inhabitants, unable to express their joys and sorrows under the clear blue sky had to confine themselves in the limiting areas sheltering them from the cold. We all know the overwhelming contrast of a freezing Berlin night and the literally breathtaking heat of the dance floor.
Well then, a blissful spring afternoon makes one forget about all winter sins. We tend to fall into the good old trap of starting anew again. Even if you’re wised up enough to realize that this kind of thinking has usually more of the fooling yourself factor than that of an actual resolution, spring makes it easier to come to terms with your inner mess and hopefully think of some measures to organize it a little bit.
photo: Monika Rittershaus
If the devil came to Berlin he would not be able to scare a single soul. Because Berliners have real problems like rising rents, shitty jobs or not getting into Berghain (depending on priorities) and have no time for religious superstitions. It’s quite a different story in the small village of Sorochinsky in the middle of nowhere in the Ukraine where the devil is the cause for a lot of fear and trauma.
At least what I learned from the opera “The Fair of Sorochinsky” by Russian composer Mussorgsky which I had the chance to enjoy last weekend at Komische Oper Berlin. In between Russian folklore, impossible relationships and a devil’s feast with pigs on fire I had a musical enlightenment I would like to share with you.
Maison Mason, photo: Daniel Gebhardt
Berlin is one of the most versatile capitals of the world when it comes to all its locations. It was fun to have been thrown in this little town with no previous knowledge – I still remember setting foot on Kottbusser Tor for the first time, entirely by chance, way more appalled than inspired, completely unaware of Kreuzberg’s undeniable magic that I’d grow addicted to.
Music, is a magical ordeal. An escape from ordinary into a vast sea of feeling, vibes and sensations. To professionals, music is not only a job, but also a way to express themselves through creativity and poetry. But what for the average “9 to 5″ Mensch?
Recently I have stumbled along something deep that doesn’t normally meet the eye. Open Mic, Jam sessions where professionals and amateurs alike can express their feeling of passion. This is something truly amazing, that Berlin has to offer.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, locals and travelling musicians flock to bars that post Open Mic on their webpages. Lines and lists of these creative souls pour out their emotions, talent and comedic gestures as they blast out tunes from their piano or acoustic guitars.
A little while ago passers-by at Hermannplatz were treated to a very special private experience. A pianist was sitting right in the middle of the square offering a little concert for those who dared to sit with him and put the headphones on. In the little video documentary you can see some of the people who took advantage of the free seat and it’s lovely to see how moved some of them were.
The video comes from the guys from RAWCreation who also brought us the lovely video about the rooftop piano concert that posted a while ago. Enjoy the new video below.
photo: Marlen Müller
Lina Jachmann’s new book Einfach Leben, the title meaning live simply, is a lifestyle guide that escapes the usual traps of this kind of literature: it’s neither about fast trends nor is it pretentious or preachy. On the other hand, it provides you with a lot of practical insights into the minimalist lifestyle based on portraits of (extra)ordinary people who have found ways to incorporate this philosophy into their everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Since quite a few of them are somehow linked to Berlin, we’re introducing them and their alternative habits we could all learn from below!
photo: Andre Ligeiro
The wild colorful Carnival might be over in Brazil but I want to introduce you to a place where the carnal sins don’t need glitter or costumes to be celebrated during night and day: Sao Paulo. Maybe New York never sleeps but Sao Paulo never stops to fuck. The two times in my life I have been to Sao Paulo I felt every time like falling through Dantes Inferno and seeing devils, demons, witches and pagan gods celebrating love and lust to their fullest. This megalopolis, this biggest city in the whole South American continent is a safe haven for the artists, the crazies, the queers, the rockers and everybody else who does not want to conform to religious rules or a closed minded society.
But wait! What about Berlin you might say? Well, of course the apple of sins in the neighbor’s garden looks always more delicious. While Paulistas and Brazilians in general love the open mindedness and carelessness Berliners tend to have towards sex and sexual relationships I definitely enjoyed the way Paulistas flirted and interacted with each other. Much more warm and friendly, still carnal and maybe even more body-centered then in Berlin.
Last time, three years ago, I danced inside an abandoned skyscrapers turned into a cultural center in the middle of the city. This time around I visited a former brothel turned into a night club called L’Amour. A place that is so small that most part of the party crowd is actually enjoying and celebrating each other on the street in front of it. Fortunately, there were a couple of photographers taking shots of the crowd (that enjoyed their presence while posing to the death).
Have a look on how the wild kids in Sau Paulo enjoy their nights and let’s hope for some good street parties in a much more warmer Berlin soon, too.