5 Amazing Short Films Exploring The Complexity of Sexuality

5 Amazing Short Films Exploring The Complexity of Sexuality

It’s Sunday, we got nothing much to do, we’ve been stuck at home for weeks, we’re bored, and to be honest, we’re kinda horny. So we thought it might be about time to give you something juicy to occupy your mind (and potentially other parts). We haven’t had a lot of kinky blog posts in a while, and you know we’re quite sex-positive here at iHeartBerlin, so we wanna offer you a bit of entertainment here, and possibly on the following Sundays. The “Short Sunday” used to be a category on iHeartBerlin many many years ago where we presented short films and video clips we found extra cute, so now might be a good time to get back to this tradition.

We wanna start something with a little bit more depth, we thought. A friend of ours sent us a relatively new short film about the obsession of a certain type of masculinity. The film is not really related to Berlin, but it’s an interesting watch nonetheless. We did a bit of research and found four more short films (some of which are actually related to Berlin) that all deal with the topic of complex sexuality in different ways and we thought this would make a great little short film program. To our delight, these five films even cover a wide spectrum of sexual orientations, from straight to gay, lesbian and bi. Hurrah! So without further ado, we let you dive right into it:

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The Unexpected Comfort of the Mundane Life at Home

The Unexpected Comfort of the Mundane Life at Home

photos: Roger Sabaté

What a fucking rollercoaster ride. I’m sure most of you will agree that the last 3 weeks have been some of the most intense ones we’ve all lived through. It’s hardly an exaggeration that what’s happening right now is the biggest shared global experience since… ever? I don’t even think the world wars actually immediately effected every single country in the world as this pandemic does. And I guess even previous outbreaks didn’t reach as far and as fast because back then the world was just much less connected than it is now.

But while it’s crazy outside in the world, what most people are really experiencing right now is actually happening on a much smaller landscape. For us, everything’s going down now in our own four walls. And unless you are still working and have not been confined to the home office, the longest way you walk from there is probably the small number of blocks you have to pass to reach your nearest supermarket. Our world feels like it shrunk remarkably.

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Dystopian Berlin – Photos of an Empty City

Dystopian Berlin – Photos of an Empty City

photos: Robert Kleinfeld. 

Berlin is a city, that is always busy, day and night. Usually. Of course, right now is an exception. These are unusual times. Even though most of us are confined to our homes, some of us still have a duty to keep on going outside to work.

Photojournalist Robert Kleinfeld is one of them. On the height of the Berliner’s discipline to stay insight he took to the streets to capture an empty city, empty subways, empty streets. It looks pretty much like the set for a dystopian movie where most of humankind has vanished. Only a few lonely souls left. It has such an eerie vibe that we never would have expected to see our beloved colorful Berlin in.

We don’t want to dwell too much on the situation. I think the last couple of weeks have given us plenty to worry and think about. But things will improve, we know it. Maybe not as soon as we hope, maybe not within a day. But soon enough. Let these captured moments of a deserted Berlin be a reminder of how fragile our world actually is, and that we can’t take the smallest things for granted.

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The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

As you probably know we’re big fans of the Staatsballett Berlin here at iHeartBerlin. So naturally, this new video really warmed our hearts when we first saw it: Initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick, 45 of the dancers recorded themself at their homes or wherever they spent their quarantine giving a little performance that seamlessly blends over from one dancer to the next as if they all danced together in unison. The result is a cute little collage of all the dancers that give us some positive vibes and smiles in these strange times. Thank you guys for that, we can’t wait to see you back on stage, hopefully soon!

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The New Netflix Show Unorthodox is an Escape to Berlin

The New Netflix Show Unorthodox is an Escape to Berlin

Since Dark, the German TV show productions of Netflix have unfortunately not really been my cup of tea. This changes with the new mini-series Unorthodox created by Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski and directed by the wonderful Maria Schrader (also known as an actress from Deutschland 83/86 and the film classic Aimée & Jaguar). I just finished the entire 4 episodes in one evening and really warmly recommend it to everyone, especially since it does a good job at making Berlin look incredible.

The show is based on the autobiographical book by Deborah Feldmans by the same name and tells the story of 19-year-old Esty who grows up in the ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn – or as another Jewish character from the show describes it: the “lunatic fringe”. During her arranged marriage Esty realizes that she can’t imagine living her life under such strict rules, so she escapes to Berlin where she gets drawn into the scene of young aspiring musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic. Both timelines, her final year in Brooklyn and her first days in Berlin, are told in parallel which creates an impressive contrast between the strict community and the liberal life in Berlin.

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<MEISTERSTÜCKE> Berlin-based AI Creates Portraits of 12 Urban Artists Using their Own Artworks

<MEISTERSTÜCKE> Berlin-based AI Creates Portraits of 12 Urban Artists Using their Own Artworks

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Visual arts have lived through quite the revolution since the digital age. The possibilities to bend images to your will by changing a few numbers in a computer are practically infinite. Today, we don’t even have to use a computer anymore, as we can create stunning artworks with the help of apps on our phones.

One of the most curious developments of digital art, though, comes from artificial intelligence. Artworks done by AIs have been around for some years but really started to become a thing back in 2018 when auction house Christie’s in New York sold a piece for almost half a million by an AI called “Obvious” that was programmed by a collective from Paris. It’s an exciting concept, trusting programs and algorithms to create something that we humans can emotionally connect to.

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These Queer Berlin Entertainers Are Streaming Live into Your Living Rooms

These Queer Berlin Entertainers Are Streaming Live into Your Living Rooms

While everyone and their mom are currently on voluntary house arrest (you better be!) we’re already running out of ideas what to do at home. It’s not that there isn’t an endless list of possible chores we could finally get to now that we really have no more excuses left anymore. But honestly, we’re close to losing our mind, so clearly now is not the time for chores…

It’s just been a week or two depending on when you started, but somehow now, time decided to pass really slowly right now, so we’re filled with nostalgia of better days and a real sense of withdrawal from all our usual activities and adventures in Berlin’s bars, stages and clubs.

While the club scene has successfully transitioned into the digital space with their United We Stream, we’re missing all the fun cultural entertainment from our favorite queer darlings from the world of comedy, drag, performance, and voguing. But luckily, those bitches ain’t sleeping, within a week many of them have come up with streaming alternatives to their regular shows and we are HERE FOR IT! This way we won’t miss the cute Darvish, the hilarious Daniel-Ryan, the fantastic Venus Boys and many more…

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Art in Times of Quarantine – Red Rubber Road

Art in Times of Quarantine – Red Rubber Road

photos: Red Rubber Road. 

One of our Uncensored Berlin artist duos has come out with a photo series that could not be more fitting for our current situation. It was actually done years before the pandemic and is part of the ongoing project Red Rubber Road by photographers AnaHell and Nathalie Dreier.

Back in 2018 Ana suffered from a serious illness and was kept in quarantine in the infectious disease isolation ward at the military hospital in Berlin for several weeks. Visitors had to wear protective gear which created quite the nightmarish atmosphere. This also inspired the idea to continue their Red Rubber Road series right there in the isolation ward on one of Nathalie’s visits. The staged self-portraits have a quite playful and humorous vibe which helped them to lighten up the oppressive mood.

The artists decided to release the series in light of the current situation to show the optimism that creativity can provide during moments of disease and isolation.

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The Best Upcoming Live Stream Events from Berlin

The Best Upcoming Live Stream Events from Berlin

photo: Artem Gavrysh. 

With the current quarantine in place, Berlin culture makers have to get creative for the coming weeks. It didn’t take long before those who are used to live events decided to explore the potential of live streaming. The Hebbel theater, various clubs led by the Clubcommission Berlin, musicians who had to cancel their concerts, as well as local performance artists were the first ones to re-organize themselves and offer live stream versions of their planned programming. I think it’s certainly a great alternative to stay connected with the cultural scene of Berlin instead of just mindlessly binge-watching things on Netflix.

We will use our event calendar in the coming weeks to present to you some of the most interesting live streams coming from Berlin, including DJ sets, performances, concerts, workshops, comedy shows and so much more. We hope this will keep you entertained at night.

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Keeping Berlin’s Club Culture & Art Scene Alive in Times of Quarantine

Keeping Berlin’s Club Culture & Art Scene Alive in Times of Quarantine

In the last couple of days, things have been moving really fast. Every day the situation concerning the virus outbreak seems to get more serious. But the more time we spend at home in self-quarantine, the more time we have to think about the repercussions, not only on our social life but also the economic effects this new situation might have on some parts of our society.

As we already pointed out in an earlier piece, especially those independent freelancers, artists, and small businesses are already affected by most jobs getting canceled right now. But now that most places for social gatherings including clubs, bars, event locations, theaters, concert halls, and galleries all have been closed for the unforeseeable future, their existence beyond the pandemic is in jeopardy. It might sound extreme, but these kinds of businesses can’t compensate month-long shut-downs, as their expenses like rent, wages, taxes, fees, etc. will continue to come in without them being able to generate any kind of profits. This means insolvencies, bankruptcies, loss of jobs, permanent closures. And when we all come out of this in a few weeks or months the places we used to go to and love might not be there anymore to reopen. This is not an exaggeration or overdramatization. It’s the brutal truth.

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