Author: Toby Ashraf

Discover This: Modest Reception

Somewhere on the mountain roads in Iran, there is a couple with a trunk full of money on a mission to give it all away to random people on their way. That’s about as much information as you can take for granted in this breathtakingly weird road movie that turns from absurd comedy to social drama to dazzling mystery thriller in the course of its 100 minutes.

Discover This: Fuck for Forest

It’s 2 am, and I am sitting on the bar counter at Kit Kat Club, almost naked while watching a couple of white straight people fuck and masturbate on stage. My underwear has been artfully cut into strips by a naked woman with blue hair; she said that for her work I owe her only my appreciation. It’s the premiere party for Michał Marczak’s film Fuck for Forest, and the activists of the Fuck for Forest-NGO, a creative and energetic group of what many have called “neo-hippies”, have put together a show of concerts, improvised dance performances and live sex.

Discover This: Vous n’avez encore rien vu

Do actors have a different approach to life? Can you be too old to be an artist? Why are there so few women in this film? Why was Eurydice so enchanted by the music and why does the heroine have to die? Is life really a stage or is life staged? Why do all young French actors look so cute and all old French actors look like chauvinists? Why did the distribution company decide to have a press screening of the film dubbed in German instead of showing the French original with English subtitles? Why are audiences so lazy? Why do we have such different ideas about what “reading” means? Why are only three cinemas in Berlin showing this film? Why do we trust reviews? Why can’t more films be like this one? Is film always a lie?

Discover This: Zwei Mütter

Two women want to have baby. It’s as simple as that. The storyline of Zwei Mütter (Two Mothers) couldn’t be more straightforward – the film starts and ends with Isabella and Katja and their wish to have a child. There are no subplots or larger narrative distractions and hardly any shots without Isabella or Katja in them.
Two women want to have a baby. It’s as complicated as that. Isabella and Katja are a lesbian couple and German law makes it impossible for them to have a sperm donor or raise a child like a straight couple.

Art in Berlin: Kapoor in Berlin

Many words come to mind when you try to describe the new Anish Kapoor exhibition that opened at Martin-Gropius-Bau last Friday: spectacular, impressive, sensational, amazing, are only a few examples. All of these expressions have a special connotation and a second meaning when you dig a little deeper into their origins. All of these expressions also perfectly describe the experience of being inside this reinvented museum space, but leave you asking whether all of this is might be a little bit too much and a little too, well, spectacular.