It takes some courage these days to come up with the plan to open up a cinema in Berlin. First there came the multiplexes, then there came the Internet and although I lost track of the number of Berlin cinemas that had to close down in the last twenty years, it’s fair to say that most small cinema owners are struggling nowadays – especially in a town where you can get everything, all the time, all at once. Wolf owner and founder Verena von Stackelberg is an activist, and this year’s theme of 48 Stunden Neukölln couldn’t be more fitting for her ambitious endeavour: courage. Last night, I took a stroll through the improvised interiors of her soon-to-be cinema in the heart of trendy Neukölln and met Verena for a little pre-opening talk.
Finally, a taste of that elusive Berlinale glamour in the form of director Noah Baumbach and his co-writer, star, and reported girlfriend Greta Gerwig after a screening of their wonderful new film Frances Ha. Try to catch a showing if you still can, there’s only three days left of the fest!
For many of us there are just a few precious pinpoints of light in the otherwise endlessly dreary Berlin winters. For some those lighter spots come in the form of vacations somewhere sunny and far away, for the rest of us there’s the Berlinale. What better occasion to finally pay tribute to Arsenal, one of the finest cinemas in the city and the headquarters of Berlinale’s Forum program for more experimental films.