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This and That
by Becky Tan

AUDI Berlinale Lounge

The red-carpet showings of films in competition always occur in the Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz. This year the view was disrupted by a two-story, temporary building right in front at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1, called the AUDI Berlinale Lounge. To compensate of obstructing the view a huge screen was placed on the side of the building so that fans could see who was walking the red carpet. At first it was irritating, but then we learned that journalists could have free breakfast every morning at 8:00 on the top floor. On the bottom floor, there was a kind of balcony which actually had a splendid view of the red carpet. Evenings there were special events for the public such as discussions with directors and other influential people such as violence begets violence or a discussion with artist Josephine Decker or a storytelling slam under the auspices of the NATIVe: A Journey into Indigenous Cinema. This certainly enlivens Potsdamer Platz. Now we have the AUDI lounge on one end and the L’Oreal tower on the other. (BT)

Ken Loach
British director Ken Loach received an honorary Golden Bear for life-time achievement. In deep appreciation of his accomplishments the Berlinale showed ten of his films during the festival from Cathy Come Home and Kes, to Sweet Sixteen and Looking for Eric. In a moving ceremony on a late Friday night, Loach was present to receive the award. Two different people held laudations, and they emphasized that he liked to surprise his actors and “thought a spontaneous reaction was better than acting.” He wrote about political events, film + politics, not political films, British social realism, often about the little man on the street, shedding light on the world. He is 77 years old, and, after the two laudations, spoke himself for ten minutes without notes. He said that ordinarily life has significance. He emphasized that we need a united Europe, perhaps a different Europe, but we definitely need Europe. After the ceremony, we watched his film Raining Stones from 1993, which, according to Loach, was chosen “because it is short: 90 minutes.” A sense of humor to the end. The film concerns a man with little money, but much pride. He is especially proud of his family: wife and little girl. His daughter will soon have her first communion at church and he has set himself the goal to earn enough money to buy her a new dress.

For the first time all four of the film critics in our team from Hamburg stayed in different hotels. We were surprised that it worked out so well. Instead of meeting for a mutual breakfast to discuss the films of the day before, we met for mutual lunch or coffee or midnight wine. Perhaps you would like to check out our hotels for your trip to Berlin. All the hotels are near Potsdamer Platz, the headquarters of the Berlinale.

Ibis Budget Hotel Berlin City
Anhalter Str. 6
10963 Berlin
Near the S-Bahn stop: Anhalter Bahnhof

Scandic Hotel Potsdamer Platz
Gabriele-Tergit Promenade 19
10963 Berlin
Just three minutes to the U-Bahn stop Mendelssohn-Bartoldy Park

Marriott Hotel
Inge-Beisheim Platz
10785 Berlin
Just five minutes to Potsdamer Platz U/S-Bahn

Hotel Amelie Berlin
Reinhardtstr. 21
10117 Berlin
Just three minutes from the Friedrichstr. Train/U-Bahn station

Quote heard from the woman sitting in the cinema: “I was on a diet, and then along came the Berlinale and it was all for nothing. So much for the diet.”