Netflix may have had a rough start in Germany, with immediate charges of sexism not exactly endearing it to the country’s progressive thinkers, but there’s no denying the online streaming service’s impressive archive. Alongside original content like House of Cards and BoJack Horseman, there’s TV, documentaries and movies offered in a combination of English and German audio and Deutsch subtitles, including a few features about Berlin itself. So sign up, tune in, and check out our best of Berlin on Netflix Germany. In no particular order…
1) The Edukators
Screened at a one-off überlin film night, “The Edukators” (German title, “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei” – “the fat years are over”) is the perfect expression of Berlin’s revolutionary impulses. A young Daniel Brühl and his anti-capitalist cohorts spend their nights breaking into fat cats’ Zehlendorf homes, until events take them on an unexpected journey out of the city. By turns acid sharp, thought-provoking and romantic, this is a German thriller well worth watching.
Subtitles: German [CC]
2) Berlin Calling
“It’s all gone Pete Tong”, done right. This vehicle for BPitch Control’s Paul Kalkbrenner follows the rise and fall of DJ Ickarus, through sets in (real) Berlin clubs, international dates, drug psychosis and, ultimately, the loony bin. Surprisingly authentic, and by turns funny and touching, “Berlin Calling” is a must-see for fans of the city’s electronic music scene.
Subtitles: German [CC]
You’ll hardly recognise the eponymous street in this careful reconstruction of life on 1970s Sonnenallee. This comedy highlights the absurd reality of growing up alongside the wall that divides the city, right next to a border crossing between East and West Berlin. An entertaining and human reimagining of East Berlin’s past, set to the soundtrack of banned Western pop music.
Subtitles: German [CC]
4) Herr Lehmann
We haven’t seen this yet, but it comes highly recommended. Set in the final weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the titular character’s beloved SO 36 neighbourhood, “Herr Lehmann” looks to be funny, irreverent and charming. Also, props for using Fad Gadget’s Berlin-recorded classic, “Collapsing New People”, on the trailer!
Subtitles: German [CC]
5) Fuck for Forest – trailer NSFW!
Token English language film alert! This arresting documentary tracks the efforts of the world’s first eco-porn organisation, which moved from Norway after its founders where tried for having sex in public, to (where else?) Berlin. A curious, and at times cringe-inducing, watch, “Fuck for Forest” captures the chaos of well-meaning activists’ questionable attempts to further their singular cause. Only in Berlin?
What about you? What Berlin-based movies would you like to see in Netflix Germany?
The look is so unique and although there are loads of filters out there that can take your digital photos in the direction of a film photo, they just don’t cut it. But more than the look, I love the whole process of shooting on film. You have to really slow down and consider the shot before you take it. With digital you can just shoot and shoot and delete later, but this can mean you’re not as invested in each shot. With film you have to nail the exposure and compose the picture correctly, because every shot costs you money!
I wish I’d picked up an analogue camera sooner and I urge anyone who’s serious about photography to get one. It’s a steep learning curve but it’s absolutely worth it!
The Loxx Miniature Railway version of Berlin is probably the city’s best-kept secret, or at least it was until our photos ended up on the front page of The Guardian website. Small world(!) – on our second visit to the mini-Berlin on top of Alexa mall, we ran into Dave from the blog Andberlin – who also named Loxx as one of his highlights of the year. This is the perfect place to go on a rainy winter’s day.
To celebrate Zoë’s birthday we went to Stockholm and Copenhagen and while we were there, visited the most beautiful and inspiring place we’ve ever been. Looking back at our post about the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, I feel like my words fail to live up to Zo’s stunning photos, and even those can’t capture the breathtaking beauty of the museum and its coastal environment. We thoroughly enjoyed our short time in Scandinavia, but the Louisiana was the hands-down highlight.
The first of our articles to appear on The Guardian, 5 Apps Berlin Really Needs, was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the buzzy, bubbly startup capital of Europe. Our iProtest app concept gamified civil disobedience, while Angry Berliners turned German bureaucracy into an addictive platform game. Our Buskamatic app aside, March was a great month for music – Modeselektor released the iconic video for their “Berlin” anthem, and we discovered Big Stu’s comedy rap tributes to Hühnerhaus and Kottbusser Tor.
Our personal highlight of the year has to be getting our hands on this little ball of cute. In fact, Olive is probably many readers’ main reason for visiting the blog – we might be better off training her to work a camera and a laptop and leaving her to it! The unofficial überlin mascot, Big Ö is recognised way more frequently than we are, and has turned up in the unlikeliest of places – including an Instagram tutorial video and a conversation with a Bully-obsessed stranger at my cousin’s wedding (“you own Olive the dog?!!!”). Apart from welcoming our fuzzy daughter to the fold, we also ate the meal of the year (with matched cocktails!) at Rollin Restaurant.
If our May pick was a movie it would be the überlin prequel, Escape from Newcastle. While our home toon stands for everything we hate (or is that the other way around?), we still have a soft spot for the football-loving Stella-downing lads and lasses we grew up with – something we hope came across in our “origin story”, From Geordie Shore to Germany. Back in Berlin, visiting friends introduced us to the Ramones Museum, the only such institute devoted to the Detroit proto-punks in the whole world, the personal collection of a Berliner who must be their greatest fan.
It might seem obvious, but our What I Know about Germans post is like David Hasslehoff’s “Looking For Freedom”: ubiquitous, infectious, and every German loves it ;). Credit for our “greatest hit” actually goes to writer Liv Hambrett, for her keen observations about her adopted countrymen, and illustrator Mischief Champion who’s busy bringing them to life for WIKAG – the book! Photo op of the month (year?) had to be Berlin Gay Pride 2012 – so many queers! So many colours!
It seems like a long time since Zoë spent a boiling Berlin Fashion Week maximising her time in the air-conditioned tent, and occasionally popping outside to photograph slebs like Fashionbloggerin Miggy. Lucky for us, she braved the heat long enough to get these impressions of Berlin Fashion Week SS13.
While Peaches was never exactly a reason for moving to Berlin, we’ve never been able to think about the city without picturing her merkin. Since we arrived, we’ve been lucky enough to see her twice: “doing herself” live on stage and orchestrating a protest/video shoot in support of Pussy Riot. We weren’t the only starstruck fans following this freak parade into Mauerpark, and it was impressive to see Ms Nisker whipping up a storm to publicise an important – and still ongoing – cause. Less colourful, but no less eye-opening, was guest blogger Russell Dornan’s look behind the closed doors of Berlin’s Natural History Museum.
You Know You’re a Berliner When… you pose for a photo pretending the TV Tower is your penis, which then becomes a lightning rod for critics of hipsters, expats and archisexts (I made this one up). Having regular “Berlinergasms” was just one of 11 sure-fire signs that you’ve become a Berliner, along with dancing in a U-Bahn station and witnessing at least one daily act of crazy. Zoë saw more craziness at London Fashion Week SS13 – here is just a taste.
October was a month of light and dark. The gloomy nights provided the perfect backdrop for the Festival of Lights and (we think) our animated GIFs were the perfect demonstration of the event’s kaleidoscopic displays. Far less joyful was Berlin Crawling: 10 Halloween Horror Films, a list of creepshows shot here in the Haupstadt, ranging from the slick (the neo-Giallo short Yellow) to the just plain sick (corpse love story Nekromantik).
We’re so glad Phia agreed to be the first subject in our series of Berlin portraits. We’d heard the Australian singer/songwriter/thumb-pianist at an intimate concert in a fellow musician’s house, and loved her stories and songs about her granddad, a Berliner, and what it meant to live in his hometown. We spent a beautiful, crisp day discovering her Berlin, and sharing our love for the creative, open city we now call home. Oh, and we celebrated two years of überlin/living in Berlin!
As we entered our third winter in Berlin, we thought we should share the survival skills we’ve picked up with expats who’ve recently arrived from warmer climes. With the help of Josh Bauman’s awesome caricatures of us (and Olive!), our more-or-less practical tips about How to Survive a Berlin Winter helped to restore calm among the panicky sun-botherers freaking out at the first sight of snow. I wonder if anyone’s quit their job or grown a beard on our advice? And giving away €250 of Berlin-themed swag was a great way to end another awesome year of überlin.
Join us in 2013 for more Berlin love and LOLs. Happy New Year!