Zeina Durra is a Bosnian-Palestinian-Jordanian-Lebanese filmmaker who was born and brought up in London and spent her 20s in New York. Her first feature, “The Imperialists Are Still Alive!” debuted at Sundance in 2010, and follows Asya, a young artist who shares the same ancestry as Durra, as she navigates through post-9/11 New York, while living in a glamorous world of fur coats, limousines, and private clubs in the back of noodle shops. I met up with Zeina while she was in town for the Biennale for a spontaneous interview outside KW.
Jana Johanna Häckel is a Berlin-based curator who’s worked for the Verein der Freunde der National Galerie as well as the Boros Collection, and will soon begin a ph.D position in Brussels. Her most recent exhibition “Languages of Revolution” is now on at Kleine Humboldt Galerie in Mitte. The exhibition features artists from nine different countries, with each artist showing works related to the global protest movement which was sparked by last year’s Arab Spring. I sat down with her to talk about the artists’ works and their relation to Berlin’s art scene.
Meet (a part of) the crew of The Barn, a super-small coffee store on a side-street of Auguststraße. Though it’s been only open for little more than one and a half year, it already found its way into the hearts of coffee-lovers from all over the city. Along with luscious sandwiches, quiches, Cannelés and cakes, they offer delicious coffees, brewed by specialists in such a refined way, you might never forget your first The Barn espresso (at least, I won’t).
John Greyson is a Canadian filmmaker, activist, writer, and professor at York University. Since 1988, he has won three Teddy Awards at the Berlinale, as well as numerous other accolades at film festivals around the world. His latest short, Green Laser, documents his participation in the July 2011 Gaza flotilla on the Canadian ship Tahrir. The film makes use of re-appropriated footage from the 1960 Zionist epic Exodus, rewriting a shirtless Paul Newman’s dialogue in support of the flotilla. The clips are spliced together with interviews with other flotilla participants, as well as images from Athens’ Syntagma Square and Riverdance performances. Below an interview with John, where we speak about his infamous 2009 confrontation with the Toronto International Film Festival, queer solidarity, and activism.
Andrew Bujalski is an American filmmaker who’s been working quietly (quietly is certainly the most suitable word to describe his films) for 10 years now, beginning with his first feature Funny Ha Ha, which, for better or for worse, launched what came to be called the mumblecore movement. He’s in Berlin for the month, where he’s teaching a master class at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, and was kind enough to fill me in on his thoughts on his work and, of course, that pesky moniker the ‘Godfather of Mumblecore.’