Dresden Experimental Filmworkshop

That was great! I guided two intense workshop days during the Schmalfilmtage-Film-Festival: „The Lucky 7 film ORWO 8“ – Seven participants (from Leipzig and Dresden) had the rare opportunity to work with ORWO film material. Double Super 8. Old wind up cameras. Film rolls that have lingered for 20 years or more in the fridge and waited Â…
The results were extremely beautiful: we got the famous „ORWO worms“ – a unique worm-like pattern on the film – the gelatine layers break during processing. My students were a bunch of enthusiastic girls and guys – thank you for being part of my Wabisabi workshop, writing names in the snow, playing with coincidences and having a wonderful time!

Inside the Dresden train station I discovered a kiosk with sausages hanging in the open windows. „Blasenwurst„, I never heard of that before. Can it really mean what it says?? I mean … Blase means Bladder … mmh!

Back in Berlin my brother picked me up and we went to Kreuzbergs best Italian Restaurant (I mentioned it earlier) – pulsating, noisy, crowded as usual, we had gigantic yummy Pizza and there was a partying laughing simpatico large group of Americans at the neighbor table – one of the best film makers and his crew, these days working at his new project – welcome in Berlin, QT! We captured his back through my prosecco glass 😉
What a wonderful fulfilling weekend!

Processing Happiness

I’ve been processing Super 8 films myself forever Â… I like it, diving into chemicals, the excitement of opening the developer tank after fix and watering and checking: pictures on it or not?! This evening I processed a black and white TriX using the Foma (Czech) reversal kit. But I processed it negative which means only the first developer and then fix. Yeah! Great! One cassette contains 15 m (50 ft) of film and they are now hanging zigzagwise through my room, drying nicely! Happiness is a warm film!

Krasnogorsk and the Sensation of Comfortable Lassitude

Today I bought a beautiful Russian Double-Super-8 camera from a collegue who told me that he bought it almost 20 years ago at the „Stasiflohmarkt“ in Berlin (Stasi = GDR State Security; Flohmarkt = Flea Market: when the GDR broke down almost everything was sold out … the Stasi had their headquarter here and they, too, sold a lot of their equipment Â… everything except for weapons I think Â…)

So now I’m a lucky owner of a probably 30 or 50 years old extremely beautiful heavy metallic – no batteries – wind up! camera with some changeable lenses and a manual in Russian Â… which reminded me that I once began learning Russian almost 30 years ago at my highschool (I grew up in the Western part of Germany and nobody was interested in Russia in the late 70es so our course died after one year Â… I was very sad because I just got into that complicated and at the same time flowery language).

But thanks to my teacher then (another cool story: he taught Russian and Mathematics and looked like Einstein (hello Herr Becks! Oops, he must be dead by now Â…). He was very friendly and an inspiring teacher. He, a German, became a prisoner of the Russians during World War 2 but he was treated quite ok and started to like the Russian language and culture and decided to study it after he was released.)

Jumping back now from the story in the story in the story I tried to understand some of the words in the manual, needed a dictionary, asked Tina, got one, browsed a little, and found my favourite expression of the day: „Gefühl angenehmer Mattigkeit“ (sensation of comfortable lassitude)!
They have one word for it – „istòma“. Just one simple word for such a complex feeling … awesome. Genial.


Some beautiful aspects of winter in a big city: My crowded Hasenheide (“Rabbit’s Heather“) park! Kids and parents riding the sled. And you know what? The sun sent out a million of photons and ten of them were warm! Particles or waves?!

Sprouting Hope For Spring

Yeehaa, this morning I looked into my balcony flower box and guess what I discovered: sprouts! Sprouts! Popping out! Green! Newborn! (I’ve had this box standing there for years, a small biotope, the plants live there on their own and can do whatever they want, every now and then I add tomato plants or cat grass Â…). Welcome, tulips and daffodils!

Berlin Birds

Ice age in Berlin! Temperatures fall miles below zero. Bike lanes are meanly frozen over, I’m a coward, I take the bus. Look out of the window, try to ignore my sneezing neighbors, see a dirty grey city.

Antennas up, I see more than a dirty grey city: a blackbird in a flower pot on my brother’s balcony on New Year’s Day, a (probably) sparrow hawk working on his or her nest Â…

Hello January! Hello fresh new year!

Devil’s Mountain: Hello 2009!

Me, my brother and his little son spend New Years Night on Devil’s Mountain! A thousand Berliners had the same idea Â… but it was space enough for us all and we shared matches and enjoyed the ice cold night and the atmosphere up there. And the view over the city.

Auntie Wikipedia knows it all: Teufelsberg (German for Devil’s Mountain) is a hill in Berlin, in former West-Berlin. It rises about 80 meters above the surrounding.
It is an artificial hill with a curious history: it was built by the Allies after the Second World War from the rubble of Berlin during the following twenty years as the city was rebuilt.
One estimate for the amount of rubble is about 12 million cubic meters, or about 400,000 buildings. It is higher than the highest natural hill (the Kreuzberg) in the Berlin area.
The curiousness begins with what is buried underneath the hill: a Nazi military-technical college designed by Albert Speer. The Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier.

This is my brother writing 2009 with a torch!