photo: Berlin Station / EPIX
No matter how hard to believe it might prove to be at first, Berlin has hosted the shooting of a variety of tv shows and films, from unknown indies to massive, Hollywood blockbusters, such as Inglorious Basterds and Hunger Games. It is very hard to describe the feeling of watching your beloved city on camera being the centre of a plot that has very little in common with the way you choose to spend your time in the German capital. Here are my favorite picks, when it comes to tv shows and films worthy of binge-watching, that have been shot to a great extent or even entirely in Berlin. Make sure you share with us your opinion/suggestions on the comment section below.
What does it mean to become an urban observer? What makes you notice things from a distance that others won’t see even up close? With this questions in mind I was thrilled when we had the chance to join Instagrammer Liz Vega on a photo shoot on a Berlin rooftop.
Liz has a particular talent for urban exploring and observing the city from high perspectives. As if she would be able to touch the invisible texture of the atmosphere beneath our beloved city with her fingertips and slowly bring it up into the light with her photographs.
Unfortunately, one of us had to stay behind during this photo shoot because we wanted to be as few as possible on the roof to minimize the risk to get caught. But thanks to the magic of modern technology we found a way for our remaining team member to join us on the roof, virtually. We had the chance to use the new Panasonic Nubo camera as a special equipment to help us out in this particular production situation.
photo: Michael Mayer / CC
Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du musst nach Berlin …
At the time, we’d never even heard of Franz von Suppé. Still, we went. From our protected northern hometown to a coal-heated loft a few blocks north of Landwehrkanal. We arrived just in time for Berlin’s darkest winter on record. As the ice came biting at our feet and the carbon monoxide took to our lungs, we turned to speakers as big as houses and dance floors where three nights became one. Our hearts exploded, only to close again like fists every time we returned to collect our winter coats.
In the vacuum that followed every weekend, to cope with the whispering ghosts and the buzzing ears, we found comfort in other sounds. Our own sounds. As sparkling as our make-up, as forgiving as our gin; only asking for more of both.
photo: Jon Ander
Graffitis are a poetic creation of the streets and with this in mind I invite you to take a closer look at your surroundings; maybe there’s a hidden message waiting to be discovered or an image to be admired.
Although subjective, when we think of graffiti and street art, we often come to think of abstractness, disorganization, aesthetics, movement, freedom and creativity and whether to make us laugh or to incite us to riot, the colorful scribbles, which tend to be innovative and original, are the guiding thread that leads to self-expression while stimulating body and mind. However, it’s not only about the aesthetics since their most important feature is actually connected with the reactions they get; in other words, it has to do with provocation. And Art needs provocation, often associated with originality, to be consequently educational – Art does not rest exclusively on moralizing concepts, but it is above all a container of criticism and reflection. And Berlin, as a magnet drawing artists from all over the world, is the perfect example to illustrate the concept of “provocative Art”.
photos: Matthias Piket
Lately, I’ve been totally into workshops. I like the feeling of learning new crafts and perfecting already existing skills. So I was more than happy when Huawei invited me to a mobile photography workshop by Paul Ripke. If you haven’t heard of this man, you should definitely google his name. He rose to fame with his book One Night in Rio where he captured the German soccer team up-close and personal at the World Championship in Rio back in 2014. But he’s not a typical sport and event photographer. With his work he comes so close to the action and the main protagonists that it almost feels like being right there between the athletes celebrating their victory.
With someone so accomplished of course there is a lot to learn, so after he introduced himself to us I was really curious what secrets of his success and profession he would share with us during this workshop. Much to my surprise, in the end the most valuable insight that I got beside a lot of technical stuff, was something quite more personal and inconspicuous…
Why the House of Red Doors’ theme parties are not to be missed and how Berlin’s authentically wild side is reflected in them, is something we have already written about. What you might have missed though is the mannequin challenge the whole Bad Bruises crew, that organizes the parties, has recently shot. If this does not make you feel butterflies of excitement in your stomach and the need to learn more about this talented group of people and their vision, I do not know what could then. I personally expected Jessica Lange’s Elsa Mars from American Horror Story to show up owning it as always.
January 26th 2017 will be day of the one year anniversary of this already iconic party and you should definitely check it out.
When you visit one of the many abandoned places of Berlin you will most likely find traces of previous visits, or even habitation there. Squatters, ravers, sprayers, vandals, urban explorers. They all left their marks on these forgotten buildings of Berlin and contribute to the decay of what these places once were. If you’re lucky you might even find some traces of creativity there.
When I first stepped into the abandoned railroad yard in Pankow last summer I was amazed by the spectacular light inside the circular building that came in through the panoramic windows in the ceiling. The place itself was completely empty and pretty much devastated by vandalism. But within all the debris and decay I found golden confetti and feathers on the floor like a little glimmer of hope and joy. It looked like someone had a good time there not too long ago. Maybe a small party, or an euphoric photo shoot. Either way it was another trace of life in an otherwise dead place.
When I stumbled about the contemporary dance video titled “Ephemeral Rooms” by Ruben Reniers and Nora Vladiguerov that was shot in this location earlier this year I was reminded of my visit. Just like whoever left the golden confetti the two choreographers and dancers breathed some life into this abandoned place with their beautiful performance.
Christmas: the time of year, when buying, consuming and eating reaches the frequency of breathing; all this accompanied by an often neglected essence of religion in the background. It is the time of year, when you look back at the last twelve months of your life thinking how many of last year’s resolutions you failed to achieve and set a new array of brand new unrealistic goals. On a more positive note, Christmas is the time of year, when you are surrounded by your loved ones exchanging gifts and appreciating having them in your life. If you are still contemplating what to get them this year, check out the following suggestions of presents, that are all made in Berlin and neatly curated by the awesome of berlin platform for stylish local design products that make excellent gifts and Berlin souvenirs.
If you’re an expat like me, you’ll probably agree that while living in Berlin might equal a lot of things, becoming a part of the German community definitely isn’t one of them. Quite the contrary – it is actually quite likely to live surrounded by the members of international or maybe even your native community, shifting every day from your WG to a foreign startup you work in, and not having to speak a word of German. Ultimately, the only considerable encounters with the culture of the country you presumably chose to live in might be limited to YouTube ads and an occasional Tinder date.
Another fact you might acknowledge when you’re an expat is that one should try to broaden their horizon, venture somewhere off your usual paths and beyond the reach of the basic Spati vocabulary. At iHeartBerlin, we’ve always been trying to help on that quest, offering advice on both the linguistic and cultural issues.
Today we’re back with a combined force: brush up your Berlin trivia and hear some of the most endearing German attempts at being funny with the 70s short film: Rundflug über West-Berlin (flight over West Berlin)!
photos: Sascha Kohlmann / CC
There are these times – especially when adulthood seems to be overwhelming and I am supposed to pretend to be an adult among others who are trying to fake it until they make it -, when I reminisce the old days, when I was a child unaware of the grown-up world and its tedious complexity; when my deepest frustration would revolve around my aversion to the lunch my dad had prepared for me that day and my biggest joy would be Santa’s advent with his presents. I am inclined to believe that it is a universal tendency to look back at the past with nostalgia and think how beautiful it all was back then. This kind of nostalgia is the feeling that takes over when I see Sascha Kohlmann’s pictures of old gumball machines. I automatically have to think of my mom bringing me home after kindergarten and me stopping her on the way to ask her if I could have a gumball, which back then meant the world to me. What memories do gumball machines bring up to you?