Berlin’s open air cinema season has begun and you can almost smell the popcorn in the air as you spot all of the ‘Freiluft Kino’ (open air cinema) posters all over the city. There is nothing quite like turning around a corner on a warm summer night to discover hundreds of people reclining peacefully in one of Berlin’s elegant courtyards, as the light from the screen flicks gently across their faces.
The summer cinema programme opened last night at the Yorck Kino Group’s Arte Sommerkino Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz, while the Freiluft Kino Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg programmes started a few weeks ago. Mobile Kino has another summer of interesting programming and there are usually some smaller runs of screenings at places like Kranzler Eck, just across the road from the hotel. (Programme was unavailable at time of writing).
Not everyone is lucky enough to spend the whole summer in Berlin of course so we have selected some of the top films we think you should see this month. We chose a specific focus on films about Berlin, German surprise hits and of course the best of the 2017 Oscar season.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have heard about that scandalous moment at this year’s Academy Awards when the wrong name was read out for best film. Moonlight was the offical winner and you can see both it and the very gracious 2nd place getter La La Land at almost all of Berlin’s open air cinemas this summer. The Arte Sommerkino at Potsdamer Platz will screen both films back to back this weekend with Moonlight screening on Friday night (9th June) and La La Land on Saturday night (10th June). You can buy tickets on their website, just click on the ticket icon on the top left of the menu.
If you can’t quite make it this weekend, then enjoy an early dinner in Kreuzberg on Saturday 17th June followed by a screening of Moonlight at 9.45pm at Kreuzberg’s Freiluft Kino. Or you can aim for the 24th in Kreuzberg and see La La Land instead. You can buy tickets for both films by clicking on the ‘online ticket’ button next to the film in the programme.
Mobile Kino is also holding one off screenings of both films at Insel Berlin – a small island in the Spree river. They will screen La La Land on Tuesday 20th June and Moonlight on the Tuesday 27th June both at 9.45pm. Tickets are available in the film listing on the Mobile Kino website.
* All sessions above are screened in English with German subtitles.
German Life on the Big Screen
One of most popular films at this year’s Berlinale was the Australian made, Berlin based thriller Berlin Syndrome. Filmed in Friedrichshain, the thriller earned great reviews and is now screening in many foreign cities and or course right here in Berlin. You can share some of the white knuckle tension at Mobile Kino on Tuesday 13th June at 9.45 at Insel Berlin in Treptow. It’s also on again towards the end of the month at Freiluft Kino Kreuzberg on Tuesday 28th June at 9.45pm
Mobile Kino is hosting a special series this summer called ‘Berlin Film Nights. Across various dates they will offer a variety of feature films, short films and TV series all made and or films din Berlin. These include Berlin Syndrome as mentioned above, and currently screenings of the hot new Berlin miniseries 4 Blocks. Episodes 1 and 2 have already screened and there are still 4 more to go so if you’re interested keep your eye on their online programme for details.
* Trailer in German but Mobile Kino screenings will include English subtitles
A note about watching movies in Berlin – movies are shown in original language in many cases, with German and sometimes English subtitles. A style that seems to be unique to German screenings is the overdubbing of non German films into German. The original audio is muted and local german actors voice the role instead. Yes there is in fact ‘the German Tom Cruise’ and ‘the German Meryl Streep’. If the voice of your favourite Hollywood star is a beloved part of the experience for you then try to avoid these screenings (usually marked OV).
* Being George Clooney is available on Netflix
All the open air cinemas have online programs and you can find out language information in the listing of the movie itself. Usually in the detail about screening time, movie length and country of origin, you will see a code that indicates the language options for the screening. OmU means the film will screen in its original language and with German subtitles, OV means the original version with no subtitles and OMeU means the original version with English subtitles. If there’s no code by the listing then chances are it’s OV and for the pleasure of German speakers only.