Friday, May 11, 2018

To Berlin

For those on Netflix - I've started watching the well reviewed German series Babylon Berlin, and it's a pretty remarkable show.   Based on some crime and corruption novels set in 1929 Berlin, it's apparently the most expensive German TV series ever made, and after two episodes, I can say it sure looks like it.   It looks terrific.

Lots of emphasis on sexual and other decadence in a setting that I suppose is like a supercharged version of Cabaret minus - thus far - the Nazis.   (I'm guessing here - as it happens, I've never watched that movie.)   I'm a bit curious about the accuracy of the dancing in the extended nightclub scene in episode 2 - did the audiences teach themselves to dance together in such a choreographed looking way during popular songs?    I think that's possible, but its nothing like audience behaviour these days.  I also see that some on Reddit think the song and dancing is completely wrong for the period.  It may be, since I have no knowledge of whether such an avant garde style (almost techno sounding, some Redditers say) would have ever turned up in a Weimar cabaret, but the whole scene is so well staged, eccentric and striking that I enjoyed it anyway.

I see when I Google it that the first season (I think there are only going to be two) has a "shocking" ending.   I'm pretty sure it has me hooked.   Perhaps the sordid aspects might start to grind me down, but we'll see.

And just in case anyone hasn't realised it - if the English dubbed version bothers you (as it does me), the settings in Netflix let you watch it in German with English subtitles.   Much better.

Update:    Oh!  Here's a good article at The Guardian explaining how the dance hall featured in the series is indeed based on a real life one that was pretty exotic.   No S&M brothel in the basement, though.   Interesting.

1 comment:

not trampis said...

I have never taken an interest in this part of German 'culture however I wonder how much of it was an attack on the nazis?