Friday, May 07, 2010

I'm just sitting here, and i'm losing money fast, because the Euro is going down in relation to the dollar. When i arrived here in Berlin, the exchange rate for the Euro was about $1.45; now, it dipped below $1.30 (it's currently $1.27). I have no idea what to do.

But one thing: i'm here in Berlin, no matter what. And with the better weather, it's a much better Berlin. There's actually a sense of things happening here. Gallery Weekend Berlin proved to be enjoyable (even if running into people was a mixed bag); there's a whole theater festival going on now. There are a lot of museum exhibits which have opened. Berlin really is a city where there is a lot to do. You just have to decide what you're interested in.

One thing Berlin has done for me is to reawaken my interest in film. Of course, i'm always interested in film, but in the last decade, i've mostly stuck to screenings at festivals or press screenings, and, since i'm not someone on the radar of the major studios, most of the press screenings i get invited to are for independent, foreign or documentary films. Which is fine, but here in Berlin, i've actually been going to the movies: in Potsdamer Platz, there is the Cinestar Sony Center, and it shows American and English movies in "OV" (original version) and so i've seen "The Ghost Writer", "Alice in Wonderland", "It's Complicated", "Date Night", "Greenberg" and others. One thing: the Cinestar is rarely ever crowded, so it's a nice feeling, like you can stretch out. (The Sony Center multiplex is only one out of seven in Berlin, so the others basically pay for the Sony Center; also: the Sony Center is where the IMAX and 3-D theaters are, and those are always crowded.) You know: would i actually go to see "Date Night" if i were home? Probably not, but i had a good time. The Kino Arsenal has had some exemplary retrospectives: when i arrived in October, the Kino Arsenal had its whole Live Film! Jack Smith! program, and then it's had retrospectives of the Dardenne Brothers, Antonioni, Dreyer, and (this month) John Ford, as well as focus series on current directors, such as Brilliante Mendoza and Lisandro Alonso. And when you've seen a good Dreyer movie, it's hard not to love movies all over again.

So i'm actually starting to have a good time. One thing is that i'm still feeling rather isolated, but people are starting to come into Berlin, so i'll have friends visiting and what more could i ask for?

However, i've been riveted by all this coverage on the British election: what does it all mean? It's now a hung Parliament.


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