Posts Tagged ‘Moabit


Weekend reading

previewimageThe beauty of reading on paper is that you understand the agenda of a newspaper and the Zeitgeist. In Friday’s SZ edition, 90% of the Politik section was dedicated to analysing beyond the tabloid pseudo-reality, the topic of refugees. What is happening in the green and progressive Freiburg. The rumors and the reality in Berlin – after the raz-de-marée on LaGeSo and Moabit refugee charity and its overworked volunteer – which created uproar in Berlin last week.  Online you do not get the same perspective.

And then there is the Magazin. Who paints the beautiful Alps? A 77yrs old gentleman, who says “I have changed a lot – they, they did not change much”. Feuilleton and magazine, a mélange and time. Mitteleuropean pleasures.


Foxy night

On our way home after the match we stop by at Bellevue…and all of a sudden we see a beautiful fox holding tight her prey streetwisely trotting from the Siegessaule pavement towards us, bending right towards Bellevue, crossing the parterre in front of the Presidential palace, trotting quietly in the shadow and disappearing towards the Spree bank…a well-calculated path, no hurry and all nonchalance, in between us and the policeman mounting the guard. Berlin foxes know a thing or two about no man’s lands…


why we love Berlin

Berlin is an endless discovery – we love it!

Four years after the start of our Berlin adventure, we keep on discovering new corners (big ones!!) of the city. Its industrial and megacity roots make us wonder how innovative and breathtaking it must have been in the 1920s.

From now on, Berlin is the closest thing to “home” to us. And it’s nice to be here!



Royal Wedding

In our Berlin whereabouts over the past 4 years we had completely left Wedding in uncharted territory. This morning we headed to Westhafen. We thought that maybe gentrification had started to bite the piers, but were pleased to see that a port, is a port, is a port!

Westhafen is the 2nd largest river port in Germany. Here cereals were stocked starting 1914 and it is home of the tallest and biggest silos, all clad in violet bricks.

Trucks come and go since now container is the answer, and we stood mesmerized to see a giant crane in operation, delighted that nobody would tell us to bugger off in the middle of the giant Lego.

Ships coming from Detroit would unload components here for the Ford model “T” to be assembled in the Wedding factories, where 64 cars were produced per day, under innovative job conditions: 40 hours per week and higher salaries than in the rest of Berlin. Nowadays a nostalgic Ford Taunus is still to be found on the pier…



Mein Deutsch, bitte!


This morning to shake off  the blues we listened again to the fantastic German language lessons administred by Caterpillar on the occasion of the 9.11.1989 anniversary! They are super-hilarious!

We’re about to leave Berlin and a nice cosy dinner at our friend’s Julita in Moabit was the ideal farewell to the city. And tonight, MeinMann had his very first very long 100% auf Deutsch dinner conversation ! Wunderbar! But he is attending the Goethe Institute’s intensive courses, not Caterpillar’s…eh eh! Continue reading ‘Mein Deutsch, bitte!’


film making: Rome, Berlin…Rage

kohlenq_01At Kohlenquelle, in Prenzlauer Berg, MeinMann and I met the authors of FirstWeTakeBerlin, Thorsten and Daniel. We had followed them on Miro’, their Berlin video-clips mixing reportage and sur-reality. The friendly riot in Kreuzberg on May 1st, the Oberbaumbruecke fight between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, the diverse social mix in Moabit, Wedding by night. Together with Phil they are now filming Dougs Deutschland, their first film, in Berlin. We met them on Kopenhagener Strasse during a pause in the tournage.

As Daniel suggested, this round of cappuccinos and Club Mate seemed one episode of the FirstWeTakeBerlin series itself, because it did have a slight surreal twist. We had contacts via e-mail and followed their videos on the web so it was a bit like FirstWeTakeBerlin meets its Italian public or anyway, a good portion of it. It was like when you met your pen-pals, you had seen pictures, exchanged views in writing, but to sit at the same table in a bar seems odd at first.

Our questions were the usual naïve ones of those who go and see movies, and don’t make them. The movie is a movie in the movie, and its matrioska structure was not always easy to grasp because the authors made references to movies we had never seen. Thorsten took us through the intricacies of the plot, which reminded me of Patrick Modiano’s Rue des Boutiques Obscures, where the plans of reality and amnesia are strictly intertwined. We glimpsed a few scenes on Daniel’s phone, we are really curious!

I was curious to understand if creative city Berlin or Europe were  helping financially the young cinéastes (a local film commission? Eurimages?). Daniel and Thorsten told us that they are financing the film by themselves, since film commissions want to have too much control on the plot and the whole process.

I had to put my sunglasses on, I was staring to the warm afternoon sun and it started to get visually difficult to sustain a conversation with the guys sitting à contrejour. Producers, financing, sunglasses, bright sun light brought to my mind a movie scene, Sally Potter meeting the producers in LA (“The Tango Lesson”). Her plot was still in the making, the producers chase her, want to force her ideas in a cookie-cutter scheme, her expression remains frozen behind her sunglasses. She would finance the film herself, in order to let her freedom shape the plot. And that was a movie in a movie.rage_2

Yesterday night we were asking to MV, a film director living here in Rome, the differences digital vs film photography in movie making. Eventually we ended up talking about Sally Potter once more: her i-phone movie, Rage, is just out now on the Babelgum platform. And about film commissions. The new Tornatore movie, Baaria, apparently cashed-in 4 millions Euro from the Sicily film commission, and is one of the most expensive movies ever produced in Italy.

Rage is out today on the i-phone and on Nokia N96 (among others), I am definitely curious to watch it, also for the techniques used by Sally Potter, as described by Lily Cole: “The unusual shooting set up on RAGE, of just Sally with the camera, the sound recordist, and myself created an extraordinary level of intimacy quickly which allowed Sally and I to experiment and really explore the character. With great sensitivity and intensity, Sally was drawing out emotions in me and then tempering them, always guiding me toward delivering just what was necessary and true to the character.”

I hope my German will improve further in the coming months in order to fully enjoy  Dougs Deutschland when it will hit the silver screen. And in the meantime MV intends to leave Rome for Turin in order to realize her movie projects in a truly creative environment, now completely dried out in Rome. As per Baaria, probably as an Italian tax payer I already paid for it, I’ll wait for it to turn up on the TV shores, no hurry.


Photos: Babelgum, Ragethemovie,


socialize this


There’s a lot of talk about the end of printed newspapers. While I hope this won’t be the case (for the good ones), German newspapers are tackling the issue by enriching their online editions with tools unavailable to the paper edition: interactive maps.

This spring the Morgenpost published the Social Atlas of Berlin. It’s interesting to visualize on these maps the demographic structure of each Berlin area. It’s fun to push the buttons and see what % of people under 14 or above 65 live in your same neighborhood. You may discover a thing or two you didn’t know!

Good to see tools more interesting than slide-shows or embedded youtube paraphernalia on online newspaper editions…I wonder when Repubblica will come up with a similar map for Rome!

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