That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”

Kings of Kallstadt

President Trump Keeps Falsely Saying His Father Was Born In Germany.

It’s an honest mistake, I guess. If he never saw this German documentary called “Kings of Kallstadt,” I mean. His grandfather – as did H. J. Heinz of the famous ketchup company – both stemmed from this same small German town in the Rhineland. The film is in German, of course, but even if you don’t speak German it gets interesting around minute 48.

What’s also interesting about the film, I think, is that this takes place shortly before Donald Trump ran for President and the civil tone of the whole undertaking is breathtaking. Before all the poison that came out later, I mean. The film is a bit of an accident, in other words.

“He was born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

How Could It Not?

Not win, I mean. This is the Berlin Film Festival, after all.

Berlinale

Argentine LGBTQ Sci-Fi Film Wins Berlin Festival’s Teddy Award.

That’s the Berlinale for you. If it’s not about LGBTQ Sci-Fi films it’s about politics. Or should I say other forms of politics?

Santiago Loza’s Brief Story From the Green Planet, an odd genre-mixer involving a trio of LGBTQ friends who discover an actual alien sleeping in the house of one of their late grandmother’s, won the Teddy Award for best LGBTQ film screening at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival has always been a political stage for filmmakers, and the 69th edition is no exception.

How Sexist Or Something

The Berlin International Film Festival will sign the 50/50 by 2020 gender parity pledge,

Gender

So, like, let me get this straight. You are ASSuming that there are only TWO genders or what, Herr Dieter Kosslick with the dopey hat? You’re going to get letters, pal. Some might have explosives in them, too.

At first I thought they meant 50/50 with regard to the quality of the films they show here at the Berlinale. You know, 50 percent crappy and the other 50 percent really crappy? But I was way off, as usual.

The 50/50 by 2020 pledge does not mandate gender quotas, but calls for festivals to strive for gender parity in top management and for them to publish figures on the gender of the directors of films submitted every year.

More Crappy PC Films But This Time With That Special #MeToo Touch

Which is also a bunch of crap. But maybe that’s just me.

Berlinale

Let the Berlinale begin again or something. That way it will be over quicker. And please note: With special safe space area this year!

The organizers said they had created a special counseling center at the festival where both audience and participants of the festival could go if they experience or witness discrimination, harassment or abuse. 

I’m wacko for Wacko-puffs! Wacko for Wacko-puffs!

Berlinale-Chef Kosslick verspricht “politisch korrektes Entertainment.”

World’s Largest Publicly Funded Broadcaster Squeamish About Showing Documentary On Antisemitism

Because, well, that would be too unpleasant for the public being made to do the broadcaster’s  forced funding to have to face.

Israel

Germany’s state-run television channel ARD recently decided not to air a documentary it had itself commissioned concerning the latest outbreak of antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East because the people doing the film apparently did this job much too well (after enough noise was made about this decision the ARD had to broadcast it anyway).

This could trouble viewers in a country where at least 40% of its citizens hold anti-Israel, antisemitic views. Or so the reasoning must be. ARD documentaries propagating negative views about Israel get aired here all the time, however. This having to do with balanced journalism or something. Or so the reasoning must be.

Anti-Zionism is not a legitimate political position, but rather a movement against the Jewish and democratic state. It is Antisemitism 2.0.

PS: Meanwhile… The latest boycott Israel campaign from BDS seems to be making great strides forward here in Berlin. It is unclear at this point whether the ARD will be commissioning a documentary about this campaign or not.

Help Me Man I’m Sick

Ever feel a clammy unease and growing sense of disorientation when living in a particular German city while unsure about what it is you are actually experiencing except that nervous, slippery hold on reality during what is in effect a captivity drama much too subtly disquieting to be called a life?

Yup. Then you’ve got Berlin Syndrome, too. Take two aspirin and call me in the morning. Or, better yet, don’t call me. Like, at all. I’m being held captive and can’t come to the phone.

Der beklemmende Hype.

Berlinale Has Numbing Effect On Audiences This Year, Too

It numbs them with its politics. And its smugness. Intentionally so. Every year. And if you don’t have the “correct” kind of politics and smugness, it will numb you all the more.

Numb

The opening night of the Berlinale was all about politics, from the red carpet, where Green Party politician and Bundestag vice president Claudia Roth sported a black dress adorned with the word “Unpresidented” in large letters – an apparent dig at U.S. President Donald Trump’s spelling aptitude and/or his perceived behavior as commander-in-chief – to officials and speakers taking the stage to talk about free speech, free art and resistance to oppression.

“It’s kind of an antidote to massive budget films with millions of special effects and stuff, which in the end creates a kind of numbing effect: I want more, I want more, I want more.”

I Can Smell The Coal In The Air Now

And hear the MiGs booming through the sound barrier high overhead. And see the Allied tanks rolling down Kaiserdamm.

Bmovie

The good old days? Not really. But kind of, I dunno, predictable?

Berlin in the 1980s was a time of wild parties and artistic creation – and a new documentary gathers the work of over 70 filmmakers to capture the essence of the city during that heady decade before the wall came down. BMovie, Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 features unseen footage of musicians like Nick Cave and New Order. It was made by English musician Mark Reeder, who began by talking about bringing Joy Division to Berlin for their first gig

That Photo Says It All

Berlinale

About this year’s Berlin Film Festival, I mean. Or Berlinale, if your prefer.

A dud line-up… A competition film lasting eight hours… The Berlin competition DOES tend to be serious… Misguided inclusions… Films about German characters played by English actors who speak in English but with German accents… Meryl Streep… Disappointment… Acute no-frills psychological realism… An extraordinary docudrama of sorts… More Meryl Streep… More Disappointment… George Clooney.”

Ya’ll come back now next year! Ya hear?