Berlin – Day 5

Today I more or less had the day off.  Specifically, I didn’t have a screening of my film, which left me plenty time to catch some others.  That said I did sleep in slightly, given that my first screening was an 11:30am showing of “Ben X” at the Babylon.

This Belgian film takes in inside look at a teenager living with Asperger’s Syndrome (which is a form of Autism).  Once again, I find every film here attacks a story from a unique and distinct perspective.

After the movie I did my only bit of real sightseeing to date.  There are many places I would like to go, from museums and galleries to the Reichstag, to the Tiergarten, but what I wound up at was the Jewish Museum.  The architecture for the building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, is definitely the most interesting aspect of the place.  Much has been written on the building’s design, its crisscrossing lines and solemn voids, that I wonder if the place might benefit from having no exhibit in it at all.  This museum dedicated to the history of Jewish life in Germany seems to approach the content as a mere afterthought. I certainly preferred wandering the angled corridors of this concrete warren to actually looking at the reproductions in any of the display cases.

Feeling fairly exhausted after a movie and a museum, I didn’t really have much downtime before my next screening.  After grabbing a quick bite, I headed a little further north to see “City of Men” at the Colosseum cinema.  A follow up to the Brazilian TV show by the same name, which is a follow up to the much celebrated film “City of God”, this is one of the films I’ve been most excited to see.  I wasn’t disappointed either, and was happy to find that the film takes a completely different perspective on the same subject matter as “City of God”.  Whereas the latter focused very heavily on the violence of the Rio slums, “City of Men” merely uses it as a very visual backdrop for a story that is about friendship and fatherhood.

As always, I wound up the night by going to the Generation lounge, then off to another party hosted by the Forum section of the festival.  The Forum is the most avant-garde of the sections, the most artsy-fartsy.  True to that, the people attending were highbrow,  a little highfalutin, and clad in the requisite black.  There was a time, perhaps when I was 16 and thought I was pretty sophisticated, that I would have been impressed, if not daunted, by these people.  No more.  And not being impressed means I don’t feel bad about not talking to them either.  If anything, it’s become easier to sift through the artsy flotsam and jetsam and find those people who are like-minded, have a good sense of humor, and with whom I make a personal connection.  And if that isn’t what being at a festival is about, I don’t know what is.

It must have been a good party because I didn’t get home until after 4am. And considering I have a 9am screening at Babylon tomorrow, sleep is something I’m just going to have to do without.

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