• Germany's news in English

The Best of Berlin in May

The Local · 17 May 2010, 11:00

Published: 17 May 2010 11:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Behind the scenes

Ever wondered where The Pianist, Sonnenallee and Inglorious Basterds were filmed? Or where Germany’s favourite soap opera, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, takes place? Founded in 1911, Potsdam‘s Studio Babelsberg boasts a rich history of cinematic successes. The studios initially rose to fame with classics like Der blaue Engel, starring Marlene Dietrich, and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Now, Filmpark Babelsberg offers numerous cinema- themed attractions. Many of these are geared towards kids, but the park also hopes to appeal to cinephiles by offering insight into what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. Visitors can catch an animal show demonstrating how our furry friends are trained for film work, take a tour of the submarine set used for the film Hostile Waters, or amble along the “Straße der Giganten”, the park’s main boulevard lined with film and TV characters like King Kong and the Sandman. One of the Filmpark’s highlights is the stunt show, an action-packed display of flying motorcycles and men on fire. For a more mellow cinematic experience, head to the “Atelier die Traumwerker” to witness the creation of sets, costumes and makeup. With prices ranging from €13 (for children) to €20 (for adults), it’s best to make a day of it.

Filmpark Babelsberg | August-Bebel-Str. 26-53, Potsdam, S-Bhf Babelsberg, Tel 0331 7212 750, Mon-Sat 10-18, www.filmparkbabelsberg.de

Fighting for (inner) peace

Yoga’s definitely become too mainstream and you just can’t get your body around the pilates… but you still want to relax, tone your torso and improve your health? How about some Taijiquan (or “tai chi chuan”), the ancient Chinese martial art, which combines meditation and fighting techniques. It’s a discipline that attracts a variety of characters – lissom types in stylish sweats, the computer geek who never made the football team, and the butch girl you know could kick your ass. Those who are tired of female-dominated yoga classes can rejoice: with a 2/3 majority, you’ll find plenty of male company in Hannover-born Nabil Ranné’s class at the Kulturbrauerei. Nabil has practised taijiquan for 13 years and started teaching at the Kulturbrauerei’s Kampfkunstschule Madang last February. His small classes (about 10 students) provide a friendly and intimate atmosphere in the lofty studio space. Nabil practises Chen taijiquan, a style named after the family who created it. In his classes, taught in both English and German, he teaches the taijiquan forms. The ambitious can try to master “yilu”, the first form (it comprises 83 sequences), and “erlu”, the second form (which has 72). These consist of slow, concentrated movements that improve body strength while having a calming effect on the practitioner; more advanced students can use them for self-defense. Nabil says taijiquan functions as a “mirror of your own life”: your taijiquan skills will develop as your life progresses. Classes run once a week; they cost €30 a month for members of the Chen Stil Taijiquan Netzwerk Deutschland and €35 for everyone else.

Chen Stil Taijiquan | Kampfkunstschule Madang in der Kulturbrauerei, Schönhauser Allee 36-39, Hof 4/building 9.2, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str., Tue 8-9:15, Tel 0179 2990 416, www.ctnd.de


Story continues below…

Diversity. Biodiversity. Sustainability. YAWN. (And well you might.) Such words start to swim before your eyes in a blurry pool of well-meaning meaningless. But wait! Pray read on! There are people on Planet Berlin who care for our urban environment! Who think deeply about why Berlin is special, what makes it different, and consider ways to maintain a high living quality on an economic (cheap) and sustainable (long-term) basis. Welcome to the happy-hippy spray-painted Lohmühle Trailer! When it takes up temporary residency in front of the Natural History Museum, this online blog station will be bedecked with anti-gentrification and other protest slogans - you will be able to write your own, and furthermore add comments about your ideas for keeping Berlin cool on the Lohmühle Laptops. For one day only, the city’s uninvolved, apolitical expats can connect to their habitat and contribute, in however small a way, their VISION of Berlin. It might even provide an amusing twist to the end of a night out, open all hours as it is. Friday night a “Themensalon” kicks off with talks about sustainability by clever people who will tell us how we should power the city, what we should eat and where we should live. SAVE BERLIN… and see you at the caravan, painting sheets and chatting squats!

DISAPPEARING DIVERSITY | Wagenburg Lohmühle, May 14-15, 14:00, Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstr. 43, Mitte, U-Bhf Naturkundemuseum, www.lohmuehle-berlin.de. Themensalon, May 14, 21:00, Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 43, Mitte, U-Bhf Brandenburger Tor, Tel 030 4737 2308, www.experimentcity.net

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd