Winter 2015 – Favourites

Winter

Hello lovely people.

I’m back to talk about my seasonal favourites, spanning through music, film, radio and much more.

For this 2015 I decided to explore the topic “Playlist” on a different level, not anymore on a monthly basis, but based on the seasons, on each colours, weather and events that happen along the way. This winter has been unusual, cold and grey, but snow lacked, for my disappointment. Spring came with a windy week of clear sky and sun, here in Berlin. Quite a blessing, culminated with the solar eclipse on March 20th, equinox day, what a show.

Well, let’s start with the favourites, let me know what you think.

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always. 

Val

 

Music

In this playlist you can find:

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Flowers

You can tell it’s January in Berlin when you can find the first narcissuses and tulips and more in every supermarket. I love them! such a colourful presence in my flat. I personally like to buy myself a nice posy, to display in my bedroom. It’s a lovely feeling to wake up and see flowers, indeed!

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Film

I watched Song One because of the beautiful presence of singer songwriter Johnny Flynn and a great soundtrack. Despite the music, the movie itself is meh, I must admit, so maybe skip the movie and go listen to the OST.

I also watched Birdman since it won the Oscars, and I can tell that it’s an excellent movie, but I simply can’t explain how Boyhood didn’t bring the statue home. Seriously I can’t wrap my head around it.

I ended up watching Still Alice a Saturday night that I was home alone. I generally liked the idea, and Julianne Moore really studied the pathology before playing the role, but what a weird way to roll the narrative, highlighting things that would not necessarily be highlighted (Husband cheating? Kids’ daily drama?)…Dunno. Not impressed in the end. I have also to say I really dislike the choice of letting a saltless actress like Kristen Stewart such an important character?

Whiplash wowed me. What a great, cruel movie about music and jazz. It reminded me of a past boyfriend practising jazz until his hands bleed. It’s true that that kind of practice makes you a fierce human being. Sometimes a bit of a superior asshole too. And then, well, there’s my homie Miles Teller. I always watch and support him, he’s finally starting to move forward shitty blockbusters and work with his talent for nicer, more meaningful scripts.

Book

The beast is back.

And it’s scary.

And intense.

And simply great.

Radio

I want to suggest you StartUp, from Gimlet Media. At the beginning I thought that the podcast was a spin-off like Serial of TAL (I spoke about my devotion for this podcast and host Ira Glass last year) bur it’s something different. I really liked the story telling and the genuine enthusiasm and tender naivety to the business world, while he is approaching to start his own business.

If you want to give it a go listen here to the first episode and download the rest of the podcast from http://feeds.gimletmedia.com/hearstartup

Tv series

Pretty good stuff during the past months!

The last man on Earth premiered in early March and it’s a nice mix of comedy and drama. Rather enjoyable!

I’m a big fan of The Americans, something that has been growing slowly but steady on me. Season 3 is delightful, very recommended!

Broadchurch, series 2, was something not to miss. The big flaw is to last only few episodes. Can’t wait for season 3.

I am also following Suits and The Good Wife, and of course I watched season 3 of House of Cards.

So much to watch!

Photo

It must be a photo from my recent trip to wonderful Kop.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

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Lichtgrenze – Berlin

I believe this past weekend was indeed the best one to be in Berlin. In part I am saying it because the weather was gracefully beautiful, but mostly because the events that the city pulled out for the 25th Anniversary of the Wall Fall were really on point. Lichtgrenze was a sublime project, and didn’t miss to spread a clear reminder of how a city can not be divided, without losing its soul.

This art project, composed of 15 km of light installation, sent out a message of clear immortality, like a peace can be reached, without forgetting, without losing the memory of it, of its core. 15 km to walk along, across, next to. The invisible wall of light was constantly mixing up with the city, with the iconic buildings of the past and the new ones, with citizens and tourists.

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I walked for 12 out of those 15km, carrying a broken camera, motivated to capture some eloquent moments, despite the crappy instrument (seriously, I need a camera). I played mostly with long exposures, because I despise the flash and wanted to preserve the colours. Suicidal move: I didn’t use a tripod, because it’s another thing I need to buy. I started walking around the closest piece of the Berlin wall I have next to where I live, the central part, on Friday. On Saturday, Mitte filled with people everywhere, I explored the northern part, from the Hauptbahnhof until the ex border crossing point Bornholmer Strasse. I kept the eastern part, around my neighbourhood, for Sundaym with the plan to get to the East Side Gallery. I didn’t reach it, due to the mass of people on the street. For many reasons, it looked like NYE. After an emotional tour around Kreuzberg, finding my way through the thousand of people on the streets, I stopped at Schillingbrücke, that is an important bridge between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, West and East Berlin. I thought it was a great point to see the balloons, that were attached to the light installation, let free. I could have decided to go to Brandeburger Tor and enjoy the concerts, but I wanted it to be a more private experience, and I really wanted to be at the crossroads between two former countries, now one. It was a good farewell. A meaningful one. I went home with the awareness of being part of the history. Moreover, I went home with the moral obligation to remember the history and share it with as many as possible.

Here are some snippets of the event. Bear with me for the quality. MORE PICTURES CAN BE FOUND ON MY FLICKR in the following days.

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Zimmerstrasse

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Beautiful border between Kreuzberg and Mitte

Beautiful border between Kreuzberg and Mitte

@ Topography of Terror

@ Topography of Terror

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Awful shot @ Potsdamer Platz, , the lights and people there were too many for my old friend, the crappy camera.

To Brandeburger Tor

To Brandenburger Tor

The Reichstag-Bundestag area.

The Reichstag-Bundestag area.

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Liesenstrasse at the corner with Chaussestrasse, Mitte

Liesenstrasse

Liesenstrasse

Gartenstraße

Gartenstraße

Park am Nordbahnhof

Park am Nordbahnhof

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Bernauerstrasse

Mauerpark

Mauerpark

Bornholmer Straße border crossing

Bornholmer Straße, ex border crossing

Bundesdruckerei

Bundesdruckerei

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Indischer Brunnen, Kreuzberg

Bethaniendamm

Bethaniendamm

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Anniversary with Mr. Memories

 

 

My grandpa reading me a story about two dogs, their adventures and friendship.
My other grandpa offering me a sip of beer while watching Summer football games on tv.
Hours at the library with The Peanuts before tea time, my addiction to earl grey.
My brother, sleep-walk across a closed door, broken glass everywhere. Unharmed kid.
The time Loli and I pretended we were filthy rich and we threw all the Monopoly’s money from the top of the stairs on our mothers’ heads…they weren’t particularly impressed.
The time we burnt all my art paintings because school was over, boredom kicked and the prof was a bitch; this when outside it was August 15th and 40 degrees.
How our bodies could perfectly slot in one, calling it ‘the tetris move’.
The first time at the stadium, a night game in the cold.
The smell of moss, of wood, of Dolomites.
Eating red berries as if they were oxygen to breathe.
The night Ale and I were the only two awake in town…a broadcast on local tv. The drinking at the church cross while watching the valley. J&B and booby hills, sis.
The hours at the gym playing volleyball. Every mistake or laugh 10 laps to run, 30 crunches. Mistakes every minute or so. A bloody tonic body though.
Kissing in the Summer rain in a street, storm of feelings during this personal movie.
Tape recorders, walkmans, cd-players, mp3s. Life before Ipod.
Sundays spent to listen to music and create it. Bonding in a garage.

All the things I forgot. All the things I pretend to forget. All the things I don’t want to write about.

This was my neighbourhood for many years: Arcade Fire’s neighborhood #1 (Tunnel) gets very close to explain it.