the tour started out in a beautiful mirrored room with three giant screens playing loops of clips from silent films. the third screen ended up featuring the scene in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari where Cesare opens his eyes for the first time. what a spectacle it was, to see his face, all black and white and huge, mirrored into infinity. i stood and watched the loop 3 or 4 times through, then a large group of loud french-speaking people came through and ruined my reverie. ah well.
a little way further on, there was a giant section dedicated to the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, including a huge model of the glass building their soundstage was in (to take advantage of sunlight), containing a few model sets and model offices. one of the offices had actors' headshots on the walls, one of which was CV, looking like it was cut straight out of one of the vintage postcards i have at home :-)
still further on, i came across the first of the many gems i was to find there - a multi-paged, hand-written letter from CV to FW Murnau ni 1920. i recognized the handwriting immediately as being his, before i even read the note pinned next to it telling what it was. his is old-fashioned German handwriting, and i could only make out about 25% of it, but it still made me tear up a bit. i wonder if i could get my hands on a reproduction..? ;-)
a bit more wandering, many, many still photos from various films of his later (each one making my heart skip a beat), and right before the unnecessarily huge (imho) section dedicated to Marlene Dietrich, came not one but four more CV gems.
the first was a short newsreel loop playing over and over, of German actors at home in L.A., featuring him playing ping pong and laughing with someone.
the second was a photo of him with his second wife on the boat from Germany to the USA.
the third was a photo of him and his wife and daughter, in their Hollywood home.
the fourth was yet another letter, though this one was type-written. yippee, i could read it!!
he spoke to a friend in Berlin about the film he'd just completed and how much money he thought it would make, about how commercial and "American" he thought Hollywood was, about how he was preparing for his next film, The Man Who Laughs (!!), and about how great and artistic film it would be. he closed by saying he missed Berlin a lot, would like to hear something back soon from his friend, and that, oh, ya, his wife and daughter were doing okay, too ;-)
there wasn't much after that, just an excerpt from Casablanca playing over and over (the scene where he, as Major Strasser, is leading the Nazis in singing, and it gets drowned out by everyone else singing the French National Anthem). ah well, he died in 1943: what else could there be about him?
in any case, i need to go back with a better camera, and spend a whole day there!!!!
today, i engaged in a skosh more fangirl-indulgence, and made my Prenz'l Berg Rammstein rounds.
they're still there.
also, i apparently have Willy Wonka's chocolate factory being hidden by the FBI's witness relocation program in the building behind mine, though it calls itself the Backfabrik now as a disguise:
this was still being worked on when i was here last time, and did not look NEARLY as scrumdiddlyumptious!
also also, the ex- "Marxist Central" house, Torstr. 1, two minutes from this flat, is finally being rebuilt into something useful.
it's been a department store, a center of an East German government party, a backdrop for at least one music video
and is now being renovated by a british company to become what looks to be a RAD "Club House", with bars, a library, business offices, a hostel, and a rooftop swimming pool lounge area....
crap. now i REALLY have to move back here ;-)
also, i need to go and get more beer.