Thursday, January 31, 2013

Berlin on Instagram - In A Berlin Minute (Week 144)


This week I would like to share with you images from Berlin that I've taken with my phone and published via the social photo app Instagram.



Berlin on Instagram - In A Berlin Minute (Week 144) HD from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

It's only a fraction of the photos I've taken so if you'd like to see more, please follow me: Luciwest. If you can't or don't want to use Instagram, you can check out all photos on http://www.instagram.com/luciwest


Let me know in a comment that you found me via this video and I'll follow you back. Btw, I'm also on EyeEm under the same name and will soon transfer all pictures over. 


Some of the other accounts I follow with pictures from Berlin, Germany and other travel destinations: jackomono fholznag fraustehr mrlemb bottropx missjulesberlin gillyberlin prob79 xesusmagarinos b_setzt williamxiii uwa2000 moog_t jdavis84 zonophoto seemannsbraut andberlinblog - I'm sure I forgot quite a few of those whose Instagram pictures I enjoy a lot. 


The song is called "Herz..." by Timothy Cool-Cat Sander. He's a very talented musician, having played in lots of German bands, has released several solo albums and is a very dear friend of mine. Check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/timothydavid.sander


A little behind-the-scenes note: For almost 3 years I have been shooting, editing and posting a brand new video every week - kind of like a moving postcard from Berlin or Brooklyn - but also a bit of a journal of what I saw or did that week. This week for the first time, I'm publishing a video that I made ahead of time... because I'm currently traveling through Brazil. As I'm posting this I am on the Island Ilha Grande not too far from Rio de Janeiro... and with rather poor Internet connection and without my big laptop. So I decided to make three videos ahead of time to publish while I'm traveling... and then I will bring you 3 videos from Brazil in the following three weeks.


--- http://MovingPostcard.com ---



TV Tower / Fernsehturm 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) - In A Berlin Minute (Week 143)

Without a doubt my favorite bridge in Berlin: Oberbaumbrücke. Built in 1895-1897, the bridge crosses the Spree River and connects the lively neighborhoods Kreuzberg (former West Berlin) and Friedrichshain (former East Berlin). Being able to freely cross the bridge again is as symbolic as it is convenient and actually quite fun due to people watching, views in all directions and the beautiful structure itself.


Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) - In A Berlin Minute (Week 143) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

I fondly remember the first time I crossed the bridge. It was my first night of moving to Berlin (the 2 months trial period) almost exactly 3 years ago (it was freezing then, too) when Franky Fuzz and I were leaving Hana's birthday party to catch trains home when he found out I had never walked across the bridge (or heard of it for that matter). So that's what we did; he with two bags of vinyl records, a guitar and an amp - me with big eyes taking this amazing city in. Later there was some Berliner Kindl drinking and another walk through the slightly scarier and iced over Goerlitzer Park - but somehow I made it back to my sublet and fell into bed thinking: yup, I could live in this city!


The yellow subway going across the bridge is the famous U1 about which you can watch an In A Berlin Minute video HERE.

(And yes, Frank, I know I still owe you and Claudia the video from your wedding - you'll get it before your anniversary!)


The song is "Super Omega" by Jason Matherne (on Soundcloud). 



Oberbaumbruecke crossing the Spree - seen from Friedrichshain
Oberbaumbruecke ueber der Spree - gesehen von Friedrichshain

Monday, January 21, 2013

sookee - "1 billion" (Music Monday)

Today brings another no-brainer choice for Music Monday.

Today the video was released I made for the song "1 billion" that the Berlin rap artist sookee wrote for the One Billion Rising* campaign organized by V-Day

It's been a great honor and very rewarding to participate in this campaign against violence on women.


I highly recommend watching in 720p

The shoot was very spontaneous and I won't deny that it was a challenge: one rapper (fortunately very talented, comfortable in front of the camera and knows how to lip-sync), 5 hip hop dancers, about a dozen skateboarders and BMXers and maybe 30 extras - in one big skate hall and with only 4 hours to film. Oh, and besides me there was only one other woman who had real film set experience. But fortunately she was awesome (Thank you, Anna Hong Xian)

But this didn't mean I made the video alone, of course! Andi Guldner, who is a photographer with a good eye, and Dirk Lamprecht, who does have lots of experience shooting skateboards, worked additional cameras. All together we had 6 cameras, which of course turned into a conversion and editing nightmare. But I disgress.

Other friends and volunteers helped with other important tasks (even if they said, they didn't help much at all, Hana and Elke, they really did).

At this point I would like to thank Karin Heisecke of V-Day for asking me to make the video and for all the help she provided as the other producer.

Of course, another big thanks goes to sookee, who wrote such an amazing song, also helped produce and was such a pleasure to work with (you make me believe in making music videos again). 

The camera loves sookee!
Also I'd like to thank my friends who assisted in any which way during the production: Elke Holzapfel, Hana Hermann, Sophie Euler, Rafi Triebel aka Ralf Zwiebel and Yves Kasten.


Stella, Hana and Sophie and more
during One Billion Rising shoot

Last but not least: thank you to everyone who participated in front of and behind the camera and made this run-and-gun production possible, super fun and something to be proud of. You were all amazing!!!

Nika Kramer took amazing photos during the shoot and I hope she doesn't mind if I post one of myself at work. Thank you for the pictures, Nika! 

Sookee filmed by me. Anna and Toni on the left. During 1 billion rising shoot.
(Photo by Nika Kramer)

The best moment in all of this arrived when I received a personal email from Eve Ensler thanking me and sookee personally for the the video, which she said she loved. She's actually a hero of mine, for her amazing activist work, her writing and her film work. While she didn't direct What I Want My Words To Do You, I have a strong feeling, she was quite influential in it - besides being the inspirational subject together with several women in prison. It's one of the documentaries that inspires me to do the work I do or would like to do. So, yeah, big day. It certainly made all the nights I worked until morning totally worth it. And who doesn't love The Vagina Monologues?

Now, listen to the song again and start dancing - and please get out on the street on February 14th and take a stance a dance against violence! Thank you! 


sookee and One Billion Rising tag

----
*From the One Billion Rising site (http://www.onebillionrising.org):
1 in 3 women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is ONE BILLION women. On 14 February 2013 V-Day is inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. We want the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. Tell the world why you're rising on February 14th, 2013 at onebillionrising.org. What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February, it will look like a REVOLUTION.
 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photos of The Berlin Wall Remains (Berliner Mauerreste)

A few photos from the shoot of this week's video "Mauerreste / Remains of The Wall - In A Berlin Minute (Week 142)". 




WATCH the 1-minute video "Mauerreste / Remains of The Wall - In A Berlin Minute (Week 142)".



READ blog post about the actual video to find out more.


Berlin Wall Map - Berlin Mauer Karte

Checkpoint Charlie

Every Wall Is A Challenge - Jede Mauer Ist Eine Herausforderung
(Remains of The Wall - Mauerreste)

The man with the moustache, blue and remains of the wall.
Der Mann mit dem Schnurrbart, blau und Mauerreste.

Colorful - Farbenfroh
Mauerpark
(Remains of The Wall - Mauerreste)

Little Color, Much Color
Wenig Farbe, Viel Farbe
Mauerpark
(Remains of The Wall - Mauerreste)


The Outline of The Wall
Die Lage der Mauer

Hole in The Berlin Wall - Loch in der Berliner Mauer.

Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu bauen.
No one has the intention to build a wall.
(Ulbrecht quote)


Behind The Berlin Wall is another world.
Hinter der Berliner Mauer liegt eine andere Welt.

The Wall at Potsdamer Platz
Die Mauer am Potsdamer Platz


Breaking through the Berlin Wall - Durchbruch durch die Berliner Mauer

 

WATCH the 1-minute video "Mauerreste / Remains of The Wall - In A Berlin Minute (Week 142)".



READ blog post about the actual video to find out more. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mauerreste / Remains of The Wall - In A Berlin Minute (Week 142)

There are still quite a few pieced of The Wall (1961 - 1989) left in Berlin.

Well known places are the East Side Gallery, the Memorial at Bernauer Strasse and the pieces at Potsdamer Platz (even though those were moved there from a another location). Despite the bitter cold I went out this past weekend to visit those and a few more. Also I kept an eye out for random pieces in courtyards and behind fences.




Mauerreste / Remains of The Wall - In A Berlin Minute (Week 142) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

But because it was so bitterly cold I didn't get to all of them. 

Here are the ones from the video in order:

Niederkirchner Strasse

Checkpoint Charlie on Friedrichstrasse
Outside the Asis Panorama
Potsdamer Platz
Erna Berger Strasse
Mauerpark
East Side Gallery on
Memorial to the victims of the wall (with wall in background) on Bernauer Strasse 
Bösebrücke

The border at Bösebrücke was the first one to open on November 9, 1989.


The graffiti in the last clip "Niemand hat die Absicht eine Mauer zu bauen!" (No one has the intention to build a wall!) is a quote from one of the most influential East German politicians Walter Ulbricht, who proclaimed this the same year the wall ended up being built.


Something that I really appreciate about how Berlin memorialized the wall are the cobblestones laid out on streets and sidewalks where the wall used to be. Just like the Stolpersteine, that remind us of the people who were taken out of homes and businesses to disappear in concentration camps, this is a subtle, but effective and lasting way to remind us of the horrors of the past. 


If you'd like to find them all yourself, this page on the Berlin Mauer Online website is a great resource.


The music I took from Soundtrack Pro.

You can look at more photos from this video shoot here: Photos of The Berlin Wall Remains (Berliner Mauerreste)


Remains of The Wall at Niederkirchner Strasse
Mauerreste in der Niederkirchner Strasse







Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Billion Rising - Germany - Videos

It is true, I should be editing the German One Billion Rising music video I filmed with Sookee... and not be blogging.

But since I will finish that video tonight (!!!) and it will probably get published on Friday (fingers crossed), I thought I'd quickly beforehand share the 7 videos I shot together with Karin Heisecke (V-Day Deutschland) of feminists in Berlin for the "I Am Rising...?" campaign of One Billion Rising, which in turn is a global event organized by Eve Ensler's V-Day to take a stand against violence on women and girls.



I'm very excited to be involved in such an important cause - but because I'm a big fan of author, filmmaker and activist Eve Ensler, I'm especially honored to be part of this project.

From the One Billion Rising site (http://www.onebillionrising.org):
1 in 3 women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is ONE BILLION women. On 14 February 2013 V-Day is inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. We want the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. Tell the world why you're rising on February 14th, 2013 at onebillionrising.org. What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

"I Am Rising...": Laura Méritt, Berlin

"I Am Rising...": Sharon Adler, Berlin


"I Am Rising...": Rebecca Bartusch, Berlin  


"I Am Rising...": Polly Fanlaff, Berlin


"I Am Rising...": Helga Hansen, Braunschweig, Germany


"I Am Rising...": Jenni Rotter, Berlin 


"We Are Rising...": Kristin and Julia, Berlin  



Watch more "I Am Rising..." videos HERE.


-----
Added on 1/18/13
Had overlooked posting the little number we cut together with some of the women dancing. Here it is: 





Will also add the Sookee One Billion Rising music video once that is online... 

Monday, January 14, 2013

You will be missed! You will continue to inspire!

With shock and sadness we found out yesterday that Howard "Howie" Beardslee died in the afternoon when an SUV hit him while he was out riding his bicycle.

Howie was not just family but also the first of the missionary kids we interviewed for All God's Children.



Only a few months ago Marilyn (Shellrude Christman), another beautiful soul featured in the documentary, died. Both of them were in the middle of their lives, are leaving behind a spouse, children, family, friends and many strangers inspired by how they faced their childhood hardships and inspired through their courage and willingness to tell their story.

My reaction in both cases was immediate: it's not fair, it's too soon, they've had it tough enough - they deserved to live long happy lives.

But I want to focus on how much Howie and Marilyn have given us - how they have touched our souls and will continue to do so through their positive acts and their inspiring growth - but also through some of the things they couldn't (yet) overcome. Those should be a reminder for us to treat each other kindly, to be aware how fragile not only children are, but also adults. Otherwise the repercussions can haunt them and us. We have got to watch out for one another. Mistakes are made, but we can learn from them - grow and become better, help and show others.

Maybe it's not fair to talk about both of them together like this. Even though their childhood experiences and many adult experiences were similar, they were both individuals who made different choices and took different actions.


To me Marilyn and Howie are both inspiring in different ways and I feel very lucky to have not only met them but got to know them very well through our shared experience of making and living with the film. It saddens me greatly that I will not have anymore moments with them. But I know this pales in comparison to how much they'll be missing from other people's lives. My heart goes out to all the Beardslees, who I know are still in shock, and to the Shellrudes and Christmans, who I'm sure miss Marilyn just the same today.

Now I'd like to let them speak for themselves...

Howie Beardslee (click this link to start watching at 6:27):




Marilyn (Shellrude) Christman (click this link to start at 4:36)



I have always cherished these two parts where Howie and Marilyn share with us how they were able to make choices for a better life - with their children or sibling, respectively - which should serve as an inspiration to all of us, no matter what baggage or hang-up or real tragedy we carry around inside.

In a way of explanation, I had wanted to write more directly about Marilyn when she passed (as I did on the All God's Children Facebook page) - but her death coincided with finding out about the passing of my friend Frank Tausch, whose death I wasn't allowed to speak about publicly at the time - and frankly the combination of these events was just too overwhelming for me then. Instead I just made this Music Monday post for them: Elliott Smith - "A Fond Fairwell To A Friend".



And today I made this Music Monday post for Howie and his family: Nick Cave - "We No Who U R".
 


Forgiveness is a touchy subject (especially among survivors of church-related childhood abuse). So I found it very comforting to hear this song today. I hope it will speak to others.

Last but not least, PLEASE be careful and mindful when driving out on the streets! Life is precious!

Nick Cave - "We No Who U R" (Music Monday)

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds is returning with a 15th studio album (Push The Sky Away) in February. Considering how beautiful, simple and moving "We No Who U R", the first lead track off the album, is, I suspect that yet another Nick Cave album will quickly become one of my favorites.



But the reason why I've chosen this song to be the Monday Music song for today is because I was looking for something meaningful and fitting after I found out that yet another special person passed away yesterday. I often like to pick the weekly song in connection.

I have decided to write a separate post to pay more of a tribute. 

But for now I am struck how fitting this moody song seems about what is larger than us and about forgiveness and about knowing someone even if you don't interact directly. 

If you are anywhere but in Germany you can watch the other official video by Gaspar Noe HERE. If you are in Germany you can watch it HERE.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Berlin Facts and Photos

A few stills from this week's video In A Berlin Minute video: "10 Berlin Facts - In A Berlin Minute (Week 141) [HD]". 


To find out all 10 facts WATCH the 1-minute video: "10 Berlin Facts - In A Berlin Minute (Week 141) [HD]".

 

READ blog post about the actual video to find out more.

Berlin is 9 times larger than Paris.
Berlin ist 9 mal größer als Paris.
(Berlin Facts / Fakten)


The TV Tower is the tallest structure in Germany.
Der Fernsehturm ist das höchste Gebäude in Deutschland.
(Berlin Facts / Fakten)


26% of Berliners have a migration background, 14% are foreigners - representing 184 nationalities.
26% aller Berliner haben einen Migrationshintergrund, 14% haben einen ausländischen Pass - zusammen repräsentieren sie 184 Länder.
(Berlin Facts / Fakten)

Official Motto: Be Berlin(Berlin Facts / Fakten)

Inoffizielles Motto: Arm, Aber Sexy.
Inofficial Motto: Poor, But Sexy.

(Berlin Facts / Fakten)

To find out all 10 facts WATCH the 1-minute video: "10 Berlin Facts - In A Berlin Minute (Week 141) [HD]".

 
READ blog post about the actual video to find out more. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 Berlin Facts - In A Berlin Minute (Week 141)

Ten facts about Berlin - combined with video clips I've collected over the 2 1/2 years I've been filming In A Berlin Minute and scored by my friend Ralf Zwiebel's song "Berlin - New York" - a song  I like so much that I've used it in two previous minutes already.

'nough said.




10 Berlin Facts - In A Berlin Minute (Week 141) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.




Monday, January 7, 2013

Sookee + Tapete: "D.R.A.G" and "Pro Homo" (MusicMonday)

Filming Sookee inside skate hall
---
Today's Music Monday post is one of those no-brainers. After spending Friday night at the Berlin skate hall with the amazingly talented, personable, intelligent and socio-political rapper and "word nerd" Sookee (and a fantastic crew of hip hop dancers, skateboarders, BMXers and a few dozen hyped up extras) and most of today outside at legal graffiti locations (Hall of Fames) to shoot a music video for the song Sookee recorded for V-Day's One Billion Rising* event, today I'm all about sharing two of Sookee's (and Tapete's) previous songs and videos.

Excited to see her life on January 17th at SO36 for the ticktickboom die Zeckenrap Gala. Also excited to have finished editing this video in the near future. I have a lot of material, so it's going to be a lot of work...

D.R.A.G. - Sookee und Tapete




 Pro Homo - Sookee und Tapete

 

---
* One Billion Rising in their own words: One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime. One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity. One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution. Join V-Day on 02.14.13 in a global strike to demand an end to violence.

After filming Sookee with the One Billion Rising graffiti
(no worries, we only went to locations where it's permitted to spray)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Photos from Intershop 2000 (Ostalgie)

A few photos from the shoot of this week's video "Ostalgie: Intershop 2000 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 140)". 




WATCH my 1-minute video "Ostalgie: Intershop 2000 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 140)".



READ blog post about the actual video to find out more.

Intershop 2000 shop window
Intershop 2000 Schaufenster

Gut gekauft, gern gekauft
bought well, enjoyed buying
Intershop 2000


750 Jahre Berlin - Hauptstadt der DDR
750 Years Berlin - Capitol of GDR
Intershop 2000

Kleine Buecher
Small Books
Intershop 2000

Zwischen Gestern und Morgen - Mitropa Buch
In-between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Mitropa Book
Intershop 2000

Reisephoto
Travel Photo
Intershop 2000

Mitropa Tassen
Mitropa Cups
Intershop 2000


WATCH my 1-minute video "Ostalgie: Intershop 2000 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 140)".




READ blog post about the actual video to find out more.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ostalgie: Intershop 2000 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 140)


Ostalgie: Intershop 2000 - In A Berlin Minute (Week 140) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

The Intershop 2000 in Friedrichshain (Danneckerstrasse 8) is both a small museum and a shop featuring everyday times from the days of East Germany. It might be the best place in Berlin for you to indulge your Ostalgie (nostalgia for Ost/East-German culture).

The shop was started by Elke Matz, a designer from West Berlin, who was curious about the stories behind East German items. She became a collector and eventually opened her collection to the public and also acquired items for sale.

What made the experience of coming to the Intershop 2000 so charming was chatting with the two people working there that day. A big thanks to Ingin Reiher and Herr Vetter! They had so many stories to tell about certain items, personal memories, films that have rented from the shop, other people who have bought items and German history and on and on... I could have stayed there all day and I highly recommend you stop by.


But don't wait too long. Since everything you can buy in the store is not being produced anymore, one day everything will be sold and the shop might close. Of course, you could always go to the DDR Museum, but there you can't touch everything, buy yourself a Flughafenhotel mug and a "750 years Berlin - Capitol of the GDR" (like I did) or have these lovely conversations.


The other aspect that made this visit extra special was that I went with my oldest friend on the planet, Cord'l, who was visiting from Barcelona. We met when we were 3 in a painting group - neither of us turned out to be great painters, but we became the best of friends. Going on a trip down memory lane, even if it involved the items of "the other Germany" was super fitting.


The song in the video is called "End Game" by Jason Matherne. Download his music for free via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/goonygoogoo-productions



You can look at more photos from this video shoot on my personal blog: Photos from Intershop 2000 (Ostalgie)
Window of Intershop 2000