The Movie Highlights of the Berlinale Festival 2016


Hail, Caesar!

It’s here! One of the world’s premiere film festivals sets up shop for the next ten days in theaters all around the city. Are you going? Yes, it can be a bit of a hassle to try and snag tickets, since it feels like the whole film world descends on our city – Hollywood insiders, independent financiers and other various movers & shakers. But it’s also fun to get swept up in the hype, especially when there are such good films to see! And there’s still time to get tickets to tons of films through the Berlinale website – tickets are released three days before the screenings. To help you navigate the crazy 400 + films in the programme and the goings on around the cinema, here are our Berlinale recommendations.

Keith by Keith
on February 11th, 2016
in Movies

XConfessions – The Sex-Positive and Feminist Porn by Erika Lust

Erika Lust 8

photos:  Erika Lust Films

Yeah yeah yeah, sex sells. What kind of sex though? When you watch recent music videos, a lot of them could be a trailer for a dirty flick, for sure. Sex is a part of pop culture and sneaks in everywhere, making suggestions, taking advantage.

The porn industry – despite the millions of free films online – is still a billion dollar industry. Somehow, it is also a barometer of how society thinks about sex, I guess. Depending on what new genres come up, it says a lot about where the culture stands, what’s up and coming – pun intended.
Erotica for women is a rather newer genre. Erika Lust is – no pun intended this time – the shooting star of it, you could say.

Frank by Frank
on February 1st, 2016
in Movies

The Most Explicit Form of Love

LOVE by Gaspar Noe 1

With LOVE the provocative director Gaspar Noé is bringing us one of the most sexually explicit movies into the the cinemas that we have seen in a long time, and in this case even in 3D. Actually, the regular multi-plex might have a hard time actually showing this one, because it’s THAT explicit, so you will more likely find the film in more alternative movie theaters.

Even though the title suggests otherwise, this is not a sweet love story, this is the story of a broken man who thought he found love, messed it up and now suffers from it. What he thinks was love pretty much resembles some of the best and most intense sex that he has had with a former girlfriend and that pretty much let’s the viewer wonder how much this character really understands the actual concept of love which clearly goes beyond that. However unlikeable he seems to us, the sex scenes are quite fantastic and not as seedy and sensationalist as you would expect. The intimacy and passion seems real and, like it or not, it will get you in a certain mood. Especially the threesome scene is regarded as a highlight amongst fans of the film. We love that the director is breaking the norms of cinema by openly showing sex as part of relationships and life as explicit and beautiful as it is.

If you want to have a chance to see it here in Berlin our friends from Mobile Kino are hosting a late night screening of the raunchy film (in 2D) at Griesmühle this Wednesday, go check it out. Some photos and a trailer after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on January 25th, 2016
in Movies

Berlin Horror Story: German Angst

German Angst Cover

How amazing is the latest season of American Horror Story? God, I love “Hotel” so much and despite all the criticism I think Lady Gaga is fantastic in it and the Golden Globe totally deserved (though I understand why that was criticized).

Comparing the episodic film German Angst by veteran Horror directors Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall with the high gloss TV show might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s pretty much as close as it gets me to write “Berlin Horror Story”. And it makes me wonder, if there ever was such a thing as a Berlin version of AHS, what would be the theme of each season? Getting rejected at the Berghain door after being a loyal guest for years? Getting busted for Schwarzfahren for the third time? Being gentrified out of your favorite shabby district? Oh my, our Berlin horrors seem to be quite minor… In the case of German Angst the three themes are domestic abuse, snuff porn and Nazis. Well, it figures.

If you have strong, strong guts and like a portion of real German horror you should check out the free screening of German Angst at the Flimmerzimmern event on January 21. See the trailer after the jump (it’s real extreme, don’t watch if you can’t handle some horror realness).

Frank by Frank
on January 13th, 2016
in Movies

A Portrait of Change: Neukölln Wind

Neukolln Wind

Gentrification is a huge and ongoing topic in Berlin, with the steady rise of rent prices, as just recently shown in the Rent Map the change becomes inevitable and crystal clear. But nevertheless stories are being constantly written, with new people coming and old people dealing with the changes, the melting pot becomes more diverse and offers endless potential: An interesting time and a good base for a portrait about Neukölln.

Arsenny Rapoport, a filmmaker from Israel fell in love with Berlin right from the start, he felt especially inspired by Neukölln. He started filming and writing his film debut Neukölln Wind in 2012, which tells the story of estate agent Kalle, who himself grew up in Neukölln before his whole house was cleared, due to Asbestos being used. He returns many years later and wants to buy his old house and other buildings. On his way down memory lane he crosses paths with many different souls and gets involved with their personal stories. The film is very close to reality and even the famous homeless Schmitti, who lived on Neuköllns streets for 27 years before he passed away in August gets to tell his story.

With his film debut Rapoport sets a memorial of change and captures the moment and interesting stories of his chosen home. The trailer and more Infos about the film premiere tonight after the jump…

Kate by Kate
on January 7th, 2016
in Movies

A Charming Berlin Love Story in Stop-Motion

Rhino full trottle

„She was just the way she was.“

A city like Berlin has its very own sagas. Every day, thousands of hearts are broken and hundreds of souls connect. The city presents the perfect scenery, serving as a stage for all the drama emerging in it.

Together with producers Fabian Gasmia and Henning Kamm film maker Erik Schmitt created an adorable short movie that poses the question: What defines the soul of a city? Schmitt answers it partly in his short film „Rhino Full Trottle“ with a classic love story, made in Berlin. He loves her, she needs to leave soon, he loves her anyway. Berlin takes up the role of the third protagonist here. With a striking love for details and powerful, little stop motion animations, the love displayed is not only between Vicky (played by Marleen Lohse) and Bruno (played by Tino Mewes) but mostly to Berlin. „Rhino Full Trottle“ is full of affection, charm and soul – just like the city itself can be. I feel like we’ve all been in the shoes of Bruno, secretly loving someone, but also in Vicky’s, unaware of the fact that someone is hurt by our own carelessness.

„She was just the way she was“, says Bruno and sums up the essence of his true love Vicky. And also Berlin. If you have 15 minutes of time on your hand, please make sure to watch the short movie below. You can turn on English subtitles in the settings in the bottom.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on October 30th, 2015
in Movies, Videos

Porn Against the Winter Blues: Pornfilmfestival Berlin 2015


Winter is cumming! No, that is not a porn-spoof of Games of Thrones. It’s actually the hardcore reality we poor tortured souls living in Berlin are facing right now. But there is comfort waiting for us. Every Autumn we are blessed with the so-called “Sex Week” its main event being the biggest sex fair in Germany called Venus which happened over the past weekend. This is not really something that we would seriously send you guys to, but there are a couple of cool events, too, such as the PorYes-Award, a feminist award for porn that took place last Saturday. This week we have another alternative highlight you should check out if you are interested in sexuality as a form of creative expression. The Pornfilmfestival Berlin is going into its 10th edition from October 21-25 with a program more diverse and colorful than ever. From intellectual documentary about historical porn makers, intense feature films and a fun collection of short films there is quite a lot of stuff to discover and to get inspired/aroused by. What I really like about this festival is that it presents a good mix of international filmmakers and also local Berlin talents such as our colleague Chris Phillips from Pornceptual. Just like last year we compiled the trailers of the most promising films. Discover and cum after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 20th, 2015
in Movies, Videos

Our 5 Favorite Open Air Cinemas in Berlin


photo: Piffl Medien

Autumn is just around the corner – time to rapidly take advantage of the good weather. There are many ways to enjoy the Summer daylight hours in the sun. Go for a swim, meet friends for an Aperitif or do some outdoor activities. But if you also want to spend the evenings catching some fresh air you should definitely visit an open air cinema and watch an awesome movie in these last summer weeks.

We would like to introduce you to five open air cinemas, which not only convince with their cozy atmosphere, but also offer an interesting program. Read an introduction for the open air cinemas und their program after the jump.

Olga by Olga
on August 18th, 2015
in Movies

The Haunting Asylum of Beelitz


Anyone who has seen the second season of the iconic TV show America Horror Story knows: Old asylums are creepy as fuck. Berlin has one of those pretty close by, I’m sure some of you have heard about the Refugium Beelitz that is located a bit South of Potsdam and can easily be reached by train. The asylum was built in the late 19th century for patients with lunge diseases. In the years of the two world wars it was used as a lazaret and sanatorium before it became a regular clinic for the remaining half of the century. Around 2000 it was abandoned and its condition deteriorated over the years. The special charm of the architecture mixed with the decay made it a magnet for film makers who shot Hollywood films here, but also for perverted minds, such as one particular guy back in 2008 who lured girls there for photo shootings that ended really ugly for them.

Recently another movie was shot here that drew my attention to this amazing place. It’s the Danish movie Men & Chicken with Mads Mikkelsen, who you might remember from the James Bond movie Casino Royale and who currently plays Hannibal Lector in the American TV show Hannibal. The new film by celebrated director Anders Thomas Jensen is quite the awkward piece about a pair of weird brothers who end up in the old mansion of their new-found biological father. The mansion in the film is actually the Refugium Beelitz and it’s so interesting to see the place taken out of its own context and into this completely different story. Enjoy some photos of the Refugium Beelitz with some strange intruders after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on July 6th, 2015
in Movies, Places

Mobile Kino – Berlin’s Traveling Cinema

Processed with VSCOcam with e5 preset

In the summer of 2009, brothers Joel and Joshua Alas decided to invest some money in a digital projector with plans to start their own open-air film night. What resulted from the little open-air screening in the Lessinghöhe Park in Neukölln was what we now know as Mobile Kino. The digital age has hit cinemas, and as 35mm projections began to fade away, we lost some of the magic of the movies. So, the Mobile Kino crew (comprised of a team of Berlin projectionists, cinema managers and programmers) decided to step in and create an HD digital cinema-on-wheels in the form of a beautiful Christiania transport bike. Over the years, the project has evolved working with a variety of partners, filmmakers and guest programmers; working with filmmakers directly or German distributors to ensure their proceeds go to the right people. Also iHeartBerlin has teamed up with the guys from Mobile Kino for basically all of their film events including the Berlin Film Nights and the Cinéma de Mode. Click on to find out more about this project that has become a household name among movie-lovers, and see which screenings you can catch this month.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on June 29th, 2015
in Events, Movies