I’ll be honest and admit that, to me, Glühwein and snow are way overrated. Winter as a whole I could do without, tbh. But there’s one reason I don’t skip Berlin for all of its winter months and that’s Berlinale. For ten glorious days, at any time of day, we have our pick of dozens of different films. Most are from corners of the world I’ve not yet explored (the first Bhutanese film noir, anyone?), though there’s also Perspektive, an entire program of homegrown German titles (with English subtitles, of course, like all non-English films in the festival). Yet it’s not a simple escapist matter of buying popcorn and bingeing; you might be able to avoid your phone’s increasingly deplorable Trump notifications, but you won’t be able to avoid what the last German Oscar winner (fingers crossed for Toni Erdmann in 2017!) so elegantly called: the lives of others.
Author: Florian Duijsens
Any longtime Berliner knows that winters are for two things: Netflix and fleeing the city. We all have our own escape routes, some heading to Thailand or Mauritius, others sticking a little closer and leaving for Lisbon or Crete. And then there is that special kind of person, the wintersports enthusiast. These men and women actually seek out the colder spots in Europe, pleased as punch to get up early, spend several sunny hours on the slopes, and then zip down for an ungodly combination of carbs, booze, and Volksmusik called après-ski. Wanting absolutely none of that, but seeing the appeal of some time spent amidst majestic snowy peaks, we took up an invitation from the Jungfrau region and headed to Switzerland to see if we could not ski.
The weather is behaving awfully spring-like and we’re still getting used to it being 2016, so it’s easy to forget the Berlinale is already almost upon us. Now we know that many of you are intimidated by the sheer size of the film festival, let alone how to get tickets without queuing at the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden for unendurably bright hours on end. As usual, we’re here to help, providing a quick and dirty guide to how to get Berlinale tickets.
After getting lost on the steep mountain roads twining through the orchards and vineyards, it was a strange feeling, stepping out of the car and looking out over the darkened valley below, lights all atwinkle like some Tyrolean city of angels. Night had fallen as we went up, and a brook crashed loudly downward somewhere nearby. The farmhouse where we had parked didn’t look stereotypically Tyrolean, but then again, it also didn’t look like it dated back to 1318. Inside, we’d find the dining room papered in newsprint from to the 18somethings. But we didn’t come to the Schnalshuberhof for history, we thought, we came here to törggel. And there’s no other way to törggel but to törggel hard.
We’ve been lucky this winter, really. The weather hasn’t been crazy cold for crazy long, and we’re even getting some sunshine sometimes. It’s been such an easy start to the year that it’s almost a surprise that the Berlinale is already almost upon us. Now we know that many of you are intimidated by the sheer size of the festival, let alone how to get tickets without standing in the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden for unendurably bright hours on end. We’re here to help, providing a quick and dirty guide to how to get the most out of this year’s Berlinale.