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.
The great thing about food is not only the obvious fact that it keeps you alive and gives you energy, but also that it brings people together. Sharing family recipes and traditions as well as eating and sharing food together is a wonderful thing and as old as history itself. When it comes to culinary features in Berlin, one can think about traditional German food, but also of the many Kebab places in the city. It almost feels like a german thing by now.
Photo: Brandy Eve Allen
How to capture the constant change of things in one single photographic picture? What things, you might ask. Not the change of the human body, change of climate or the change of political powers. These changes seem easy to capture (but harder to process). But what seems nearly impossible is the idea of capturing the everyday transformation of something as complex as a city in one frame. Still, this is what the competition, Frames of Berlin is all about.
photo: Stefan Schilling
The upcoming exhibition TACHELES 27 at the Klassenfeind Gallery in Mitte depicts a story of a monumental building that’s slowly but surely falling into decrepitude now, but used to be a vibrant center for creatives just a few years ago.
When I first started to wander around Berlin, some districts seemed to just merge together and I needed to put some effort into finding their distinguishing characteristics. Charlottenburg, on the other hand, has definitely always been a very distinctive part with a little nostalgic streets, fancy antique boutiques, and elegantly dressed people. And no wonder that’s the impression I got – up until 1920 Charlottenburg was an independent city to the west of Berlin.
photos: Markus Braumann
Winter could be described in countless ways. Among the most positive ones would be its definition as the time of year when all you want is to stay somewhere warm and cozy and spend quality time with your loved ones, while you are protected from the cold awaiting you outside. Should you be lucky and get the chance to see snow, well this can lead to a lot of fun. These days in Berlin, we have been experiencing both. In any case, there is a social and artistic side of winter in this city, that is perfectly encapsulated in the impressive photographs of Markus Braumann, which range from cars, train platforms or streets covered in white, the entire city disguised under the vail of fog or when the snow is combined with the breathtaking sunrise that cuts through the city. Enjoy his beautiful photos and let’s appreciate this snow-covered Berlin.
photos: Aviel Gan
When I first saw the event about the No Pants Subway Ride happening in Berlin I thought this was one of those joke events that are not for real. It wasn’t until yesterday night when photographer Aviel Gan submitted his pictures of the event to us that I realized that this was actually for real! So yesterday a group of people gathered in the subway and took their pants off. Just for the fun of it. It’s true, I read up on it on their Facebook page, there is no deeper meaning to it, simply an improvisation with open participation. Well, why not. Anything is possible I guess, especially here. The whole thing was initiated by a group called Improv Everywhere and hails all the way over from NYC, it’s been happening in Berlin already for 5 years in a row and it’s really the first year that I took notice of it. How could I have missed that? Enjoy the photos of the peculiar subway ride below.
For me 2016 was actually a great year, even though I almost don’t dare saying it out loud. A lot of sad and terrible things happened in 2016, yes, but there still was a lot of good stuff that I think needs some more attention: Small and big moments in Berlin that showed what a great city this is and what amazing people live here. We should focus more on these things, at least for a moment, and take these positive memories and feelings with us into the new year.
Here are the most happy moments and amazing happenings of 2016 in photos and videos.
In the last two years I have grown a bit tired of always carrying around my heavy SLR camera that I normally use to capture places and events in Berlin. I would still take pictures, but with my smartphone. I felt the quality was quite good and the convenience of it was too tempting. Also you just look less suspicious with a smartphone than with a real one.
But the fact is, I never really put it to the test how good the quality of mobile phone cameras really is compared to the big ones. A few weeks ago I joined a comprehensive workshop with famous photographer Paul Ripke who showed us some basic tricks on how to improve your photos and he also introduced one particularly interesting new development of smartphone photography which is the professional manual mode. We got to play around with the Huawei P9 and brand new Mate 9, both of which have quite remarkable cameras with a double lens by Leica. I took one of these two with me on a photowalk around Berlin and took direct comparison shots with a medium-sized SLR camera. The results will probably surprise you…
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”.