magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

Love At First Sight

Maybe it’s been a while ago that you fell in love, or maybe it was just yesterday. But childhood loves bear a special significance to many of us. They shaped who we are looking for in the opposite sex, what we want to be “when we grow up”, or which food we like.

First Loves

First Loves in Polaroids on ourfirstloves.com

The site ourfirstloves.com has collected many such stories, from falling in love with spaghetti to memories of first pets. They’re funny, heart-warming, and sure to make you laugh. There’s also someone who shares my first love. His name is Frank and he is 80 years old, but I think I have to visit him someday because he has what I want: an own library.

By Jessica Binsch

Capturing the Soul of the City

Opening today at Berlin’s world renowned Bauhaus Archive “Andreas Feininger – New York in the Forties,” an exhibition which includes many of the artists own favorite shots. Having given his main body of work to the CCP in Tucson Arizona, Feininger held those few personal favorites back and finally gave them to the later founded Andreas Feininger Archive in Tübingen. Now they are on display in Berlin.

Andreas Feininger  Midtown Manhattan von New Jersey aus gesehen, 1942  © AndreasFeiningerArchive.com [Read more]

Michel Gondry only dreams about disgusting sex

On Tuesday, October 21, French Academy Award winning-filmmaker Michel Gondry honored the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Los Angeles with his presence. Gondry is known for his experimental music videos with Björk, The White Stripes or Daft Punk, as well as for his films Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep or his latest work, Be Kind Rewind. Hammer invited the artist to talk about his recently published book You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It: The Be Kind Rewind Protocol and to discuss his own conceptual and technical approach.

[Read more]

We Proudly Introduce…

The latest quirk on the internet, which touches upon a serious issue.

Since some might not consider a sewage plant the appropriate public service institution to be named after a former president of the United States, here comes another idea: The George W. Bush Library.

Its focus, of course, will be an educational one (which is why no books about sex are allowed). But what will you find there? See for yourself after the jump.

[Read more]

Visit Berlin Virtually

With the platform Twinity, one can take virtual walks around the city centre and even meet Mayor Klaus Wowereit.

[Read more]

ICFF 2008 in New York City

Today I went to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in the Javits Center in New York. I expected an insight in latest developments in design but in the end it was (not surprisingly) just a furniture fair. Anyway, I saw a few interesting things. If you want to go and see for yourself, tomorrow the fair will be open for the public.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

[Read more]

We Hood, We Votin’, and Throwin’ it Uuuup!

Just when you thought the Dems were beginning to move in circles, looking to something as colorful as gas taxes to spike the “Donkey Punch,” Obama supporters turn the knobs and change the beat.

Following Will.I.Am’s wildly popular “Yes We Can,” featuring soul saint John Legend, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the angelic Scarlett Johansson (just to name a few), TI$A (from the superior, but much overlooked, hip-hop/r’n'b producer/writer/super group Sa-Ra Creative Partners) drops another MTV/Hollywood gem to keep the election spectacle vibrant.

[Read more]

Obama for President: American Dream or Forever Hopeful?

Call him the Black Kennedy, the Tiger Woods of politics, or the Second Coming. The epithets used to describe presidential hopeful Barack Obama (D-Ill) are a testimony to an election that is so much more than politics.

There is something close to biblical about rain, when the skies give way to an almost cathartic downpour, draining off the drudge, sins and conversation-residuals clogging the streets. In any Hollywood movie (especially considering the writers’ strike) it could have been a Second Coming scenario, yet it was an unassuming Monday with weather more befitting of an unassuming British city pronounced Gloomster (but probably spelled Gleucmcester) in the midst of Berlin. The prophesized savior of American politics, Barack Obama, drew close to a 100 people, who sought shelter in the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung on this rainy, borderline-suicidal Monday evening, to learn about the self-professed harbinger of a new era – in a country so far from theirs.

[Read more]

Meet Generation Instant Access

One Hundred Young Americans - Michael Franzini

Yes, lumping together a whole birth cohort in a single catch phrase is bound to fail. In the end, I don’t feel part of generation X, Y or Z. While I sense a trace of unity when meeting people with whom I share the birth year, I doubt that this connection transcends watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV at the same age.

What makes me a part of generation Y then (I am slightly too old for the instant accessers)? Other people define me as. Why do they do that? Because they want to express their alienation with people of my age through a concept that allows them to point their finger at exactly what it is that they just can’t understand about my generation. [Read more]

Porn Just Started Looking Like MTV

We’re all used to watching MTV videos with more licking, sweating, and rubbing than half of the usual soft core porn movies.

AfroDite Superstar

Same goes for the TV station’s shows, where participants habitually get down and dirty in hot tubs, and stage dramatic cat fights which end up in some nice girl-girl cuddling (just watch The Real World!). Therefore, it was just a matter of time until porn would start looking like music television. Well, that time has come, and it ain’t as spicy as you expected.

AfroDite Superstar had its official European premiere at the Second Pornfilmfestival Berlin yesterday. It tells the story of two girl friends, who are trying to break into the rap world. One of them, Afrodite, is discovered by talent scout CEO and put into the spotlight, while the other one, Iris (notice the inventive names!), is the real talent who writes the songs Afrodite shines with. This is a blow to their friendship and Iris falls for the female stylist, who is really the big boss, but has to stay in the background because she isn’t accepted as a woman in the rap world. Another rapper and a dialect coach who teaches the girls some street cred are also involved. So far, so soap opera.

Various members of the cast get together in occasional sex scenes – and I do mean occasional, given that this is a porn movie the ratio between sex and talking is just depressing. Also, the scenes don’t spare a certain unintended comic, which the audience realized as well. Some of the highlights that caused outright laughter were a very sexy pair of underwear from one of the actors as well as the lines “I cannot do this. Your father – he is like a father figure to me!” followed by the almost untakeably corny line “Meet me in my room- in five minutes.”

What makes one wonder is that this movie is part of the festival’s female film section, where movies are shown that take on a woman’s point of view. Is that what female porn looks like?

A story that would fit The Bold and the Beautiful, hardly any getting-it-on, and no truly explicit action? This movie represented all the clichés about women and porn – that women need an extensive storyline, that they need a friendship part and lots of dialogues. Well, that has proven wrong here. The movie is a mix of Britney Spears’ Crossroads and quite a bit of your daily soap opera, while it tries to imitate MTV with confessional- type talking to the camera by Afrodite and a show that looks like TRL. Maybe this was intended to be a striking parody on today’s music television and the quest for street credibility, but it ends up being more corny than classy.

AfroDite Superstar oscillates between fun and funny, but a little more spice wouldn’t have hurt this one.

By Jessica Binsch

You can watch the trailer here.


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