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!
Humor is unique and universal at the same time. One of the perks of laughing besides being, well good, is its ability to unite people and nations. You could probably say that most cultures have some similar funny bones. At least we all can always agree to laugh about something, like physical comedy. Of course there are also things that maybe some cultures would laugh about more than others – because they know where the jokes emerge from. This is where humor get’s lost in translation.
On Saturday, on a taxi ride in Buenos Aires with a few strangers, I had a conversation about my recent trip to Rio, which quickly led to the topic of the Brazilian carnival, and then over to the one in Venice and Cologne. The conversation had almost switched to another topic when it struck me: We have a carnival in Berlin too! How could I forget! And it usually takes place in… oh, it’s this weekend! In contrast to the ones in Brazil, Cologne and Venice, our Berlin carnival is not specifically about one nation, but about all of them – or at least quite a big bunch. As the title “carnival of the cultures” suggests, different countries come together here with their traditions, dance and food. It became this huge thing here over the years with a big parade and food market. People either love it or hate it, but regardless, it’s a big spectacle with a lot of fanfare and the poor streets of the city that have hardly recovered from the mayhem of May Day are again littered with the cultural confetti of the next big street fair.
Photographer Alexander Niklass captured the event through his dark, urban lens; the results present the carnival in quite different light than what we are all used to. Enjoy the amazing photo series after the jump and for more photos by Alex follow him on Instagram.
photo: Christian Werner
Independent print magazine projects seem like a relic from another era. Of course print magazines look great as accessories on Instagram pictures and on our coffee tables. But is there still the habit of READING things on paper? Well maybe the habits are changing but the curiosity and the openness to a diversity of experiences is not. So even though I think more and more people will read and consume all kinds of content on digital surfaces, others will still cherish the experience of reading on paper. Maybe it is the crisis of print publishing that pushes journalists and makers to think of magazine concepts that dare more than ever and explore new possibilities.
aviv is a new magazine made in Berlin that dares with something really unconventional. Printed in Hebrew and German, the bilingual print-magazine focuses on literature and the arts and wants to renew the relationship between the two languages and cultures. For me, having been in love with languages and their power of identification all my life, this project is a good example of building creative bridges. Publishing from a young and autonomous perspective, the founder Hanno Hauenstein and his co-editor Itamar Gov focus on less illuminated content between these languages, and highlights the underlying historical and political complexities. I think that especially here in Berlin such a project is very important to create a dialogue between Israelis and Germans living here.
Tonight on Mai 13th aviv is celebrating the launch party of their first Issue at Berghain Kantine with numerous acts, dance performances and a reading. Don’t miss it. Some impressions of the magazine and the two creators after the jump.
Karo is not having an easy time in Berlin right now. She lost her job, her boyfriend too, and no one seems to have much sympathy for her. Much like the title of the film that she is the main character in, she feels like a Mängelexemplar, which is the quirky German word for a book that has some flaws. Don’t we all feel like this somehow? Like something is not quite right with us and that that’s the reason our life is not going as we had hoped? Karo perfectly embodies these self-doubts with her neurotic, yet charming and funny self. She is the type of girl that you just want to cry with when you feel horrible. After the jump: her 8 favorite places to cry in Berlin and the trailer for the new film that is released in cinemas today.
photos: Guney Cuceloglu
In most major cities of the world the activity of simply “hanging out” is pretty much a luxury that only tourists and maybe less ambitious students can enjoy. The rest of the inhabitants have to hustle the entire day either because it’s necessary to make ends meet or because being busy is a status symbol. In Berlin that’s quite different. Here hanging out is a highly valued part of the life style of the people. It’s embedded into the days of the inhabitants in the same way that late hours at work and strict gym schedules are in other cities. Berliners feel no shame in self-indulgence and being laid back. What other city people might consider as laziness is considered a benefit of this wonderful city.
Photographer Guney Cuceloglu who you might remember from the charming portraits of female and male cyclists went to some of the most popular leisure spots in the city to observe and document how Berliners expertly turn hanging out into an art form. Enjoy his collections of photos after the jump.
photo: Tobias Nielsen / CC
It’s still one of Berlin’s most mysterious abandoned places: The old CIA spy station Teufelsberg. Located on a hill that was formed by the rubble of World War II it is one of the most popular destinations for urban explorer and fans of graffiti. The spectacular building has a ghostly appearance and is covered in murals, tags and graffiti. If you haven’t been yourself, maybe this cool short video will finally convince you to go!
photo: Anže Kokalj
We all need a little saving sometimes. Someone to grab us by our shoulders, reassuring it’s gonna be okay. In a city like Berlin, accidents happen. With so many people living next to and with each other, bruises are inevitable. In cars, on bicycles or walking on the street, with hearts falling on the floor, shattering to pieces: Every day, someone is out there, needing a pick-me-up.
Luckily, there is almost always help just around the corner to mend that heart and come to the rescue. Just like the other day, when an ADAC (automobile club) chopper landed in the middle of the street of Kottbusser Damm. Who knows, who needed saving that day – it’s good someone was there.
Photographer Anže Kokalj captured this unusual moment of a helicopter landing in the middle of Kreuzberg. You can find more pictures on his Instagram.
My Gallery Weekend started with an artistic installation that actually has nothing to do with the official Gallery Weekend (but has some good chances to become my favorite installation anyways). In celebration of its 20th anniversary, German record label raster-noton presents a ‘white circle’, an acoustic-architectural space designed as an audiovisual installation inside the hall of Berghain. On this occasion four of the label’s musician were invited to develop and contribute an exclusive composition: Alva Noto, Byetone, Frank Bretschneider, and Kangding Ray.
The four pieces are all very different but play with the full spectrum of light and darkness in visuals and sound. I was really impressed by the intense atmosphere this installation created. Suddenly I felt transported to a foreign galaxy where an Egyptian god of techno is ruling the world. Don’t miss to visit this place over the weekend. After the jump I created a couple of animated GIFs to give you an impression of the art piece, but of course without the sound it’s only half the experience.
“Many recent articles have attempted to tackle the subject of dating in Berlin, explaining why and how the dating scene here is seen as a difficult one. People are said to ‘fall in love with the city and only with the city’.” This is the summery of the documentary film Berlin Way of Love.
Does this sound familiar to you? To be honest it sounds familiar to me. And to be even more honest it’s probably about me. Through a combination of funny circumstances I was asked to participate in a short documentary about love in Berlin called Berlin Way of Love. Together with Jule Müller from im gegenteil we had a short interview session where we had to share our “expertise” ( hilarious!) about dating in Berlin and why it is so difficult. The cherry on top of this absurd situation was that I had to talk in English which I did with my strongest, most charming German accent. As you might imagine watching the final documentary is not as fun for myself as it might be for you. But still I have to admit that it is a very charming short movie with some funny insights about dating in Berlin. If you want to see Berlin Way of Love you have to find out the upcoming screening date after the jump.