Their name fits Berlin’s quality of being a playground for grown-ups. Here you can try out all your crazy ideas and it doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail, it’s all about living it out. For the street art crew TOY this is true in the most literal sense.
Just last week we chuckled about their live intervention with an S-Bahn train that received some flower pots glued to their windows. And this week we received yet another, even more spectacular one: They filled up a wagon of the U-Bahn with Autumn leaves and played around in the fun mess. But how do you get dozens of huge garbage bags full of leaves into the train without being noticed? Their latest intervention video shows how it was done…
Since I literally do get tipsy after my second beer which does not hold up at all with being Polish, I’m usually viewed as a kind of a curiosity at any given party. And that’s not everything: my music taste is anchored so strongly in the past that my friends just tend to look at me in disbelief when I have to admit I’ve never heard anything from their playlist.
But there’s this one song that one of them has discovered a while ago and it somehow connects us, regardless of all the usual taste differences. It’s one of those that aren’t really about the tune, or how good the singer is.
“Heimweh nach dem Kurfurstendamm” by Hildegard Knef is just all about Berlin and how no city could ever be compared to it although people over there may be trying their best. For me and my friend especially, it obviously gained even more meaning after he decided to move out for his studies.
One look at how fast the tickets for the screening of Nick Cave’s recent movie are selling is enough to say that at least part of Berlin adores this guy. And although the kind of love sadly prevailing in the Bear City is probably the unrequited one, the proof of Cave’s devotion to the Hauptstadt is an indubitable part of its history.
After the screening of last year’s music documentary “B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989” at the Mobile Kino over at Grießmühle, people actually started to applaud as the lights went on. It seemed like the film could provide anyone with a reason to shed a tear or two; it caused some to reflect on their youth, and others to wonder how the fuck did techno eventually prevail.
What I found most moving though is a short footage of Nick Cave doing a little room tour, almost as if he anticipated Youtube and its current vlog trends. “This is my bedroom”, he says, sliding off a black thick curtain separating his bed from the rest of the room, which is today a standard design for many a dwelling of a Berlin artist.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the November clouds transforming Berlin into desaturated place. Our city is full of colors, but you might not see them at the first sight.
What might help you is this stop motion collage short film Berlin Classified by Julien Patry. Step by step he collected footage of small and maybe unappealing objects and connected them by their colors, shapes and functions. It makes up a perfect narrative about the colors and shapes of Berlin.
The french Berliner AXL OTL contributed a very nice electronic track to this piece of art!
You know that the appreciation for Berlin is something that is very close to our hearts. So you can imagine when we see videos like the following, this is really like a big warm hug for us. There have been many songs about how awesome Berlin is, some better, some worse. But we always were happy to see that other people shared our enthusiasm in a capacity that they dedicated a whole creation to the city – like us with the blog.
This new song titled “Das ist Berlin” (this is Berlin) really brings this to a whole new level (and me almost to tears). “When you make it beautiful even though it’s ugly – this is Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. And when Stephan suddenly becomes Stephanie, Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. When you are not from Germany, but you are still a true Berliner, this is Berlin, Berlin, Berlin.” This is how the chorus goes, translated to English. But please see for yourself and be reminded how awesome this summer was!
ALFA / Ich – Ein Groupie
‘Tis the season! Once a year, Berlin becomes the host for a film festival of a different kind. So all of you sexy people, sex lovers and kinky minds beware. While the Venus Sex Fair focuses on the kind of Porn that is rather sexist, the Porn Film Festival offers an alternative to normative stereotypes. In Germany’s oldest cinema, the Moviemento, they show serious documentaries about the work and life in the sex industry. They show movies with a more humorous approach to sex, with conceptual aesthetics and extraordinary stories. Pornographic films can be more than mainstream. The ones shown during this festival are all about authentic lust, sexy non-normative bodies, queer sex and erotic encounters between emancipated individuals with empowering narratives.
There are stories about fetishes, about homosexual pleasure and intimacy as well as short movies about the lives of refugees. Sexual assault and trauma are another aspect of sexuality that the festival also addresses. Wherever there is sex there is also issues of power and dominance. Where there is intimacy there can be pain and it is especially significant how this film festival gives a holistic view on sexuality with all its extremes. The dark ones as well as the euphoric ones. Besides showing movies the festival also offers a great range of events all focusing on sex, porn and politics. There are workshops, panels, readings and performances. Get a first glimpse here.
This interesting documentary by Petra Tschörtner about the district Prenzlauer Berg in the year of the reunification of Germany is a must-see for anyone interested in the recent history of the city. I like it because you can see a lot of parallels in today’s subculture and I also think it’s interesting to see how difficult the change of the reunification was for a lot of people in East Berlin. And take a look at the long-haired bearded photographer at the travesty show at 29 min. Could be the 90′s version of me
The story of Berghain being recognized as a venue that produces “work of cultural significance” and is, therefore, subject to lower taxation made it even to the Guardian a couple of weeks ago. It is impressive to say the very least; as it is the following song by Rachel Glassberg & The Disasters, which narrates an imaginary story about the famous photographer Sven Marquardt, who is also known as the notorious Berghain bouncer. Pay attention to the lyrics; they are full of grit and humor.
When you think back to the 1920s Berlin pretty much had a reputation for debauchery. For decades the world thought of Berlin as this sexually free and wild place where everything is possible and no phantasy was forbidden. But the time of the separation of the city changed things. Other things were more important to rebel against. There was still always a highly sexualized underground scene, but it was not really in the center of attention anymore.
In recent years this changed. Nightlife in Berlin is embracing its wild, naughty and sexually liberating side again with parties such as Pornceptual, Gegen and The House of Red Door. Debauchery is back and more excessive and scandalous than ever!
“Before you think, music makes you feel” states Pedro Carneiro Silva at the beginning of his beautiful video shot on a Berliner roof. Watching the sun go down along with the view over the city makes it impossible to argue against that, as one is instantly overwhelmed by the Brazilian’s heart-warming piano melody. The concrete of the roof in combination with the bricks, the clear sky, his music and voice in the background showcase a different aspect of the German capital: calm, creative, cordial; away from its well-known untameable wildness.