The other day I spontaneously went to see the brand new Berlin movie Liebesfilm that was just released to cinemas. I hadn’t heard of the film before, to be honest – Berlin Bouncer has taken up most of the Berlin buzz I guess – so I didn’t have any specific expectations of the flick.
But to my delight, I was really enjoying what I was seeing. In contrast to most Berlin movies or TV shows of the last years, this film did not portrait the city and its inhabitants in a stylized and overdramatized kind of way. It felt very real and honest which made the film and its characters incredibly likable. Even that kooky, trashy little party at the beginning of the film felt like a much more earnest representation of Berlin nightlife than any exaggerated techno rave in some kind of stunning location that doesn’t even look like anything that would exist in Berlin – we’ve seen in too many times in many other movies already.
The story is as simple as it gets: Two unlikely lovers find themselves – completely wasted – in a party and start a joyful love affair. The snotty, rebellious attitude of them perfectly captures the personality of the archetype Berliner: totally impossible but also adorable at the same time. And even though this film is not really about the city itself at all I feel like I rarely saw a movie that felt more “Berlin” like this one.
photo: Martin aka Maha / cc.
In a world where streaming services are so widespread that it is possible to watch any movie on laptops, phones, tablets or TVs, going to the cinema continues to be a unique experience. To go out and sit in theatres, especially in cozy and intimate ones, means to elevate the simple movie-watching to the pure pleasure of being dragged into a mix of sounds, colors and feelings that you probably will not get by simply sitting on your couch at home.
We prepared a list of our favorite art-house cinemas in different areas of the city. Check it out! Close your laptop and go to the cinema! Let yourself be enchanted by the atmosphere of these cool spaces. Spending 8 euros on a movie ticket instead of a cocktail is not a bad idea for a weekend. It will be worth it!
To get in the mood for the Berlinale festivities, Audi invited us to their Berlinale Open House program at the Audi Berlinale Lounge at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz. During the entire run of the film festival, Audi and the Berlinale have put together an interesting and diverse program of panels, performances, and interviews, that are taking place in the comforts of their elegant and yet cozy lounge.
We loved the classy and glamorous feel of the place, with its dark walls, dimmed lights, stylish food and drinks, and the first class view right onto the Red Carpet. The location is one of a kind, since it is right next to the Red Carpet and thus part of the event. On Saturday, we went there to experience one of their new formats this year: Electric Minds.
Berlin is kind of a tough city for cinephiles, especially for those of us that (still!) don’t speak German. American films usually come out months later in Germany, and foreign films are either dubbed or subtitled in German. The biggest movies of the year usually come out in December, meaning that some titles still aren’t available in Berlin until February, March or even later, well after the awards have been given. And forget about downloading them (unless you have a VPN)!
But there is a bright side: the Berlinale is one of the film industry’s most prestigious festivals, and it’s actually the largest one in the world, based on annual attendance. Our international community is in luck because all the films are subtitled in English (and German too, sometimes). Instead of being late to the party, the party actually kicks off here: many of these are world premieres, without distribution deals even. So it really is a treat to attend a Berlinale screening.
Finally! The feared and mystified bouncers of the infamous Berlin club scene are featured in their own film! Didn’t you always want to know what a bouncer is like in daily life? Director David Dietl accompanied three well-known bouncers, Frank Künster, Sven Marquardt and Smiley Baldwin, for a while to give us a glimpse behind the curtains of the people that you usually have a very one-sided conversation with – “bitte” or “heute leider nicht”.
Berlin Bouncer tells the story of the development of Berlins nightlife and fills us in about the good and the ugly parts of its history. From the Fall of the Wall until today, Berlin’s party scene has changed and evolved dramatically. Who has witnessed it more up close and personal than Berlin’s club bouncers? Dietl takes us far beyond the party scene, deep into the story of each protagonist and into their daily lives.
How does the Apocalypse taste? What would you like to drink on the last night before the world ended? Maybe your choice would be Champagne? Or would it be a refined cocktail with a wildflower swimming in it?
The newest production Violetter Schnee by Staatsoper Unter den Linden is all about the end of the world. Five people are trapped inside a bunker and when they leave it to see if the world is alright they discover they are doomed forever.
The opera is inspired by the cult movie Solaris from Andrei Tarkowski where 3 men float in space around an enigmatic planet called Solaris. Since this movie from the 70s is rarely shown in public, together with Staatsoper we decided to create a unique night to present this nostalgic piece of cinematic art.
Yesterday, a new movie trailer made the rounds and had Berliners shocked and shaken. I’m talking about the Berlin, I Love You film starring Keira Knightly, Helen Mirren, Mickey Rourke.
To give you the facts first: The film is a continuation of the Paris, Je T’aime and New York, I Love You format that is basically a string of unrelated love stories happening in one place and shining the light on the biggest, tackiest cliches of the respective city. Each story is like an episode and it has different, directors, cast and crew. The Berlin one has Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (who directed his episode remotely via Skype back in 2015), as well as German actor/director Till Schweiger and Dani Levy in the line-up of directors. Further famous actors include Luke Wilson, Orlando Bloom, Patrick Dempsey, Renée Zellweger, as well as German actors Sibil Kekilli, Hannelore Elsner, Robert Stadlober and German supermodel Toni Garrn.
»Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.« ― Stanisław Lem, Solaris
For many years now Berlin has opened new doors and possibilities to us as a magazine. Some collaborations where coincidences, others grew over time and space and became something as real and important as the digital work we do.
Since the re-opening of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden after its decade-long renovations, we had the pleasure to collaborate with the team of Staatsoper in several projects so far – always with the goal to open up doors and minds for new audiences to the magic of Opera, classical music and dance.
Berlin’s infamous nightlife never ceases to inspire filmmakers from all over the world it seems. After big hits such as Berlin Calling, Victoria, and B-Movie now comes a new attempt to capture the one thing that seems to be the city’s main trademark. With Night Out, Greek director and screenwriter Stratos Tzitzis is – more than the previous three examples – focussing on the more lustful aspects of the nightlife. At least that’s the impression you will get from the trailer.
A colorful mix of characters wonders off into the night from house parties and Späti session, over sex shop visits and street parades, to tango sessions by the river and underground punk concerts, and last but not least they end up at the frivolous KitKat Club with way less clothing on than at the beginning of the night.
Berlin wouldn’t be the melting pot brimming with inspiration that we love if it wasn’t for the international influences from expats that never cease to shape the city with their artistic vision. The time has come to highlight the creative masterminds in the Portuguese community in Berlin. Get ready to meet a diverse crew of uninhibited artists – photographers, writers, digital illustrators, musicians – who aren’t afraid to experiment and venture beyond the conventions. By the way, we’ve asked around and got the top recommendations on where to get Portuguese wine and their famous Pastel de Nata – make sure you scroll to the bottom!