Home for the next short while is Berlin. Berlin in Winter is rad. Berlin is white. Berlin has legendary shops and bakeries. And Berlin has Starbucks. Which is all very good for Berliners, because Berlin in Winter is also very, very dark.
But there is a plus side to these rather lengthy winter evenings (at least in our apartment). One cool perk to my boss being a big-shot film dude as well as a complete techno gadgets geek, are the uber snazzy, efficient thingamajigs we have in the house. Exhibit one: The film projector and complete high def surround sound – in our lounge. It seems my camera has PMS at the moment, but here is a picture I found on Le Google to give you and idea.
This is great in winter as it’s pitch dark by 4pm. This seemingly ever-present darkness could be depressing and pretty inconvenient (if you tend to be nocturnal and wake up around midday, that leaves you with 4 hours of sunlight at most – usually only 3 after fighting for the shower, then fighting with the shower – if it happens to have something against you personally). But when when kettle corn comes in 3 liter buckets and DVDs are actually available in English (Yes – in Germany they dub EVERYTHING – including American series… Desperate Housewives in German = funniest thing ever), “sunset” becomes an event to be embraced.
Out come the blankets, the mugs of hot frothy milk and honey, the chocolates and sugar coated popcorn (you can tell the ladies call the shots in this house, ja?) and whichever DVD we grab from the home library or my bosses hand as he walks through the door. The down side: again, he is actually IN the industry. And: he’s, well, male. This combination translates pretty directly into limited poorly written yet very satisfying Hollywood Rom Com’s being screened. Dilemma.
A first hand education in film history is always great. The publicly hushed stories of actors personal lives being spilled too you by someone who knows them personally, as their famous image flickers across our living wall is also a pretty interesting experience. But let’s be honest, watching a pack of grown men running around and blowing stuff up, or middle-aged German spies solving violent Russian assassination mysteries = not necessarily always my first choice (sorry Sebastian!).
The point I’m getting to with this long winded story has arrived. Last night my boss arrived home with a DVD. I was told it was set in Cambodia. Yup. I thought I knew exactly what to expect, but that it might be cool to learn a bit about Cambodia.
I was wrong. So very, very wrong. It was brilliant.
The film was called “Same Same But Different”. I won’t give the whole film away because I would HIGHLY recommend it to pretty much anyone older that 12. But here is the basic plot in a nutshell:
European boy and brother go to Asia (Cambodia) to get wasted. Boy meets Cambodian hooker by fluke. Misunderstandings occur. Boy and Hooker fall in love. Girl has bad cough. Boy takes girl to doctor for the first time in her life. Girl is told she had Bronchitis. Boy then has to go back to Europe to work and make money to send her to keep her from selling her body. Boy misses girl horribly. Girl misses boy and while tempted to go back to selling herself stays true to her word. Girl still sounds sick over the phone when she chats to boy. Boy send more money for second visit to doctor. Then girl finds out she has HIV. Girl tells boy. And just to make the film a million times better, it’s (fairly precisely) based on a true story.
The film is very artsy. It’s extremely real. Its extremely unglamorous. It’s extremely good. It also leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. More than this I won’t say… Except for – go hire it.
More reports on strange, cool, and downright funny things to follow.
P.S. Sincerest apologies to the elderly gentleman living upstairs who “like’s movies too, but not at this volume, or at 3am”. If you are reading this please know you have an open invitation to join us. Also, you might want to bring a chair. Just saying.