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!
Counterpart, photo: STARZ
Berlin has not only become a popular and affordable production location for many of your favorite movies and TV-shows in the last years. But our beloved city at the Spree and its uniquely edgy and rough aesthetic has become the backdrop for many national and international productions. And I think we will all agree, if one a city deserves this visual attention, then it’s Berlin. How many times have we found ourselves thinking the Berlin scenery around us is right out of a movie scene? We selected a few of our favorite shows and movies that will or have already found their way to the big and small screen this year and last year. Take a look.
Annually the weeks leading up to Berlinale turn into a stress test. How well can I maneuver through the seemingly countless names of directors? How optimal can I structure my screening schedule? Will I manage to not only realize on day four that a film with my favorite actor screened on day one?
This year is no exception to this emotional roller-coaster. However due to extended internet research, reading of press newsletters and countless hours spent on the Berlinale website, I’m fairly confident Ive got thinks figured out. I nevertheless share my 10 highlights only with the cautious warning that these are not complete or final and definitely my personal taste. Each film can be your personal cinematic supernova, so head to Potsdamer Platz and into the dark. It’ll be worth it …
Over the last 100 years, Berlin has changed into several drastic shapes like no other city in Germany. Every time a shift happened not only the urban aesthetic of Berlin evolved but also the layer that lies beneath our everyday routines: Sound!
For the next chapter of Audi Zeitgeist Projects, a unique commitment of the automotive brand to support German Avantgarde-music, this unique sound of Berlin will be presented in a completely new way. Several well-known musicians like Gudrun Gut and Modeselektor came together to compose a Symphony of Now – merging the sound of Berlin with a spectacular movie being released earlier this year.
On the occasion of the upcoming premiere of Symphony of Now we decided to have a deeper look into Berlin’s movie history and we found several films that portray the sound of Berlin in different decades perfectly.
“Survival in Neukölln” – that’s the title of documentary filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim’s newest work. Following the life stories of various inhabitants of Berlin’s infamous neighborhood, the movie visualizes Neukölln as a place full of creative contradictions.
We meet Drag performer Stefan Stricker who calls himself Juwelia, the androgynous Cuban singer and dancer Joaquin la Habana, or a queer Syrian singer, called Enana. We participate in gay-nudist cooking groups, female theatre performances and turkish demonstrations. We see a Neukölln that has became a melting pot of young and old Berlin, and the epicentre of rapidly increasing rents.
Tom of Finland movie
For the most time of the year we shut up about our love for movies showing naked skin, pleasure and lust. But there is one week where this is different and we’re out and proud, unapologetically screaming: I LOVE PORN! It’s the time of the Pornfilmfestival Berlin every year in the fall, showcasing other visual presentations of sex and love that are not degrading, insensitive or only representing one niche of the sexual spectrum. It’s the one week a year we can hardly wait for – a whole week fueled with films, panels, readings and performances that explore sexual perspectives outside of social norms, construed identities and morals.
Living in Berlin as one united city, it’s hard to imagine a life surrounded by a city split in half. Living in todays liberal, progressive Berlin, it’s even harder to imagine how it must have been being queer in times when gays were despised, even pursued as criminals. The new documentary “Mein wunderbares West-Berlin” by director Jochen Hick gives fascinating insights in 19 individual stories of gay life in the underground of West-Berlin.
Legal or not, Berlin has always been the place of a vibrant gay subculture. As Berlin was one of the only cities in Germany where men were allowed to dance with each other, the democratic German enclave rapidly became a hotspot for gays, students, runaways, and many different people in search for their personal freedom. The documentary shows a world that is long gone, places that might have lost their appeal and stories that cannot be relived in the way they are depicted. It is a must-see for any Berlin Queer, wanting to understand where his or her culture comes from and what the community has gone through.
Summer is practically here – 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 a couple of 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.
At Berlinale there was a lot of films about different cultures and places.
Australian Film director Cate Shortland chose to show a movie that takes place in Berlin and focuses on the division not only of the city itself, as during the GDR, but on divisions within us humans too. The result was a psychological thriller that really gives you goosebumps. It’s a movie that shows what could happen when you just trust a charming stranger and go home with him. The film, that was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017, is based on the novel of the same name by Melanie Joosten: Berlin Syndrome. Read on…
Berlin is definitely not L.A. Even though the German capital has several production companies and the big Filmstudios Babelsberg right outside the city, during the year the local movie-industry is nearly invisible. Invisible but not non-existent. No wonder they shine even brighter at the biggest festival in Germany for contemporary film culture: Berlinale.
At this year’s edition not only did we have the chance to visit the press previews from several movies but also we got an exclusive backstage tour of the festival including a visit to the photo studio with Canon, sponsor and creative partner of the festival.
We breathed some air of glamour and lots of love and devotion for the art on celluloid while speaking with the team of Berlinale who did not hesitate to answer all our questions and explain us in details everything about the cultural DNA of this celebration of creativity.
After the jump we show you our Backstage discoveries and tell you more about our incredible highlight of the festival.