Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Showing posts with label Berlinale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berlinale. Show all posts

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Berlinale 2014




Tilda Swinton was here at the Berlinale  - the film "Grand Hotel Budapest" was shown 7 minutes away from our flat at the Zoo Palast - and I missed her! 
I already missed her in Edingburgh , where I was at the Film Festval in 2010 by a hair's breadths:



Well, in Bremen we have a saying: "Three is the inhabitant of Bremen's right" - so hopefully next time.
And  I will see "The Grand Budapest Hotel" - quite certain.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Lost in ... Movies



Dear You, 
when I look out of my window I see big lumpy snowflakes dancing over the the whole street, and a very strong gale urges them to move quicker. Yes, Berlin has got its share of the hurricane 'Xaver' - though luckily not with those masses and masses of water Hamburg has to cope with. 
Winter has arrived - outside you see only those who have business to do - meaning: dogs and their owners. Some cars. 
I had a wonderful week with my friend, who visited me - meaning: we sport dark under-eye-circles, because we chatted far, far into each night. Meaning: wonderful new little restaurants were explored. Meaning: exhibitions, walks trough different Kieze (residential quarters) of Berlin, and beautiful shops. And cinema: we saw a hilarious new film - 'Fack ju, Göthe' - (yes, I think you will understand that - it is the German onomatapoetic way how a person who comes from what they nowadays call the 'educational alienated class' would write the four-letter-word and the name of our prince of poets) - in the newly reopened cinema at the Zoo, the famous Zoo Palast
When we moved to Berlin three years ago, the Zoo Palast was hidden behind wooden panels - you see a section of it on the picture above that I took then (on tiptoes). It took 3 years to rebuild this jewel of the Fifties - which is soaked with film-history. Built in 1956 - though before it had started in 1915 - showing e.g. 1927 the first release of 'Metropolis'. Destroyed by bombs in 1943, then rebuilt and extended. From 1957 till 1999 it was the official contest cinema of the Berlinale - and has seen many famous film actors on its red carpet (e.g. Romy Schneider, Errol Flynn, Gina Lollobrigida, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Sophia Loren, Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks, James Stewart). 
About 4,4 millions Euro were invested into the completion of the new interior and building - the owner says: "Going to the movies shall become a celebration again. The Zoo Palace got back its soul by us.
7 cinema halls with (only) 1700 seats, meaning: enough room for long legs - you can almost lie on the comfy leather chairs! - and more than 100 employees, from the liveried (!) porters to the cloakroom attendants - everything in style and elegance. (Sorry that I didn't take pictures of the new glory that evening). 
Ah - and hurray, hurray: the cinema is in a very, very nice walking distance to our flat! 
So: if I am late with a new letter, dear, bear with me: I might be sitting in the palace, a princess lost in a new (or old) movie. 

Yours 
Britta 


Friday, 15 February 2013

Cad (Welsh for fight), mael (Welsh for prince)


Oh no, you're not in Shrewsbury, nor in Budapest - where, as you might know, they built the TV set for 'Cadfael'. These (still) are Britta's letters from Berlin - and as I am writing about a tiny aspect of Cadfael at the moment, I thought: why not take a day off and look what Berlin has to offer from the Middle Ages
Above are the ruins of a Franciscan monastry, the building started in 1250, the three aisled basilica in 13th and 14th century, destroyed by bombers in 1945. 
The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at the Alexanderplatz overtowers everything: also the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church), built in the Middle Ages when Berlin and Cölln were twin towns. What wasn't destroyed by the war often was razed by the city planners of the GRD - they had not much money for restoring and wanted space and place for cars.


There is ample space now - right in the middle (Mitte) of Berlin (normal rush hour on a working day!): 



Without any hidden agenda about that they try to restore the Dance of Death in the northern tower vestibule of the Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church): 


And if you come to see the Heilig Geist-Kapelle (Holy Spirit Chapel), also nearby, built in 1300 as part of the Holy-Spirit-Hospital, and now surrounded by the Humboldt-University of Berlin, mind that you come on Thursday from 12:00 - 13:00 - otherwise (as I) you have to peep through a little window at the beautiful  'starry sky' of it: 


Very near is also the oldest church of Berlin, the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), built between 1220 and 1230, but I was a bit frustrated because today it is only used as a museum. 


Cadfael I haven't met, and, though we have the Berlinale film festival at the moment, I am sorry to say: nor Sir Derek Jacobi (oh would I have loved that, he has such a beautiful voice!). But even that voice couldn't have lured me into the Middle Ages which I see as DARK - I have a very distinct vision what they would have done with a woman like me :-)