bimo: (Fivey_sigh)

Watching an interview from the Leipzip book fair where you can see the interviewee (looking uncomfortable and somewhat distanced right from the start) getting increasingly uncooperative with each ensueing question. Not good? Right? Even worse if the interviewer happens to be a professional journalist possessing an academic degree in German literature.  (For a few years she even occupied a teaching position at the University of Milan.) So one should expect a certain amount of interesting actual discussion going on there, thoughtful questions, perhaps even honest curiosity. Right?

Among the questions asked in front of rather large audience were the following treasures:

"Did you take drugs when you wrote that?"

"Your protagonist reminds me of Parsifal. You are familiar with Parsifal, aren't you?" (Interviewee was looking puzzled, due to the Parsifal connection being somewhat far-fetched. I would have been puzzled as well. Also one should not forget to mention that both the interviewee's parents are high profile stage actors, a small biographical detail adding even more to the insult.)

Last but not least:

"What did your parents say to your book? Do they like it?"



bimo: (Fivey_bookish)
More often than not, I find myself reading two different books parallel at the same time. When I'm not on holiday and thus out of my usual rhythms,  there are daytime books, nighttime books, and only very few which fall in between. The respective categories don't seem to have anything to do with a book's genre, content or narrative complexity. King's Doctor Sleep was a nighttime book, for example, but so was also Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being. Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall? Daytime. And the way I treat non-fiction books is equally erratic.

The two books I'm reading parallel at the moment, however, couldn't be more different if they tried to.


Bill Bryson, One Summer in America: 1927

Popular history, strung together somewhat loosely, but all in all a quite intriguing account of the key events and the people which came to shape the collective consciousness of American citizens during the late 1920s.


Robert Gwisdek, Der unsichtbare Apfel (German)

Hitting bookstores (or Amazon, respectively)  on March 8th, it seemed quite unavoidable that I ended up finding this inconspicuously looking white little book on my birthday table, right? Debut novel, written by someone who, during the thirty years he has so far spent on this planet, has already been an actor, a songwriter, a dadaist performance artist. So, approach cautiously, right? Especially if you are a fan...

Eternal skeptic that I am, I opened Der unsichtbare Apfel rather hesitatingly, fearing, no almost sure that I would certainly be disappointed. Now, that I am about one hundred pages into the novel, I guess it's safe to say that I'm not. Not by any means at all. Capturing, imaginative (the more surrealist side of "imaginative"), beautiful language. Unsettling. These are the adjectives I would pick to describe it, but if I had to chose a comparison to sum up my subjective reading experience so far I would say: This one feels as if Hans Christian Andersen and Franz Kafka had collaborated to come up with a pre-dreamt version of a movie by David Lynch.

Of course, adjectives and comparisons never do anything, anyone justice. And of course, I better ought to check if my usual pair of glasses haven't been switched for a pair of rose-coloured ones... ;-)


bimo: (Alex_Gene_mug)
*looks around, carefully dusts off her journal, then decides to kick off the new journalling year in classic bullet point style*

What I'm currently reading:
  • Hans Fallada: Ein Mann will nach oben
  • Heirich Geiselberger, Tobias Moorstedt (Red.): Big Data, Das Neue Versprechen der Allwissenheit, Suhrkamp 2013 (a collection of academic and non-academic essays dealing with the consequences and possibilities of Big Data as a cultural, economical and political phenomenon)

What I'm currently watching on DVD:

  • Quantum Leap, selected episodes, re-watch ;)
  • The Undersea World of Jaques Cousteau I (which, btw. has an incredibly Star Trek-like flair to it)

Last three movies I watched at an actual cinema:
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Inside Llewyn Davis

Last visit to a museum:
Last concert:
  • the ever amazing Käptn Peng in Oberhausen (Yes, I'm too old for this, but still so much fun. )
bimo: (Default)
Simply because it's so much fun to watch. Completely without words, so do you don't need any German to enjoy! :)

I guess, if there were such a thing as a special heaven for the artistically inclined, the fathers and mothers of Dadaism would sit on their own nonsensical little cloud and smile gently down.

bimo: (Swann_oldbie)
After the article published in Die Zeit a couple of weeks ago, I had a certain feeling it would  only be a matter of time until other major newspapers would pick up on Kaeptn Peng. But a rather longish, favourable review regarding a left-leaning songwriter/ rapper and band  published in the feuilleton of the F.A.Z., which is one of Germany's most influential conservative quality newspapers? Good grief,  colour me impressed.

Mikroben, Kugelblitze und der ganze Rest
, (F.A.Z., 02.06.2013)

"Zwischen Ulk und Einsamkeit, verspieltem Jazz und und rhythmischem Rock - Ab ins Universum: Käptn Peng und die Tentakel von Delphi lösen den Diskurspop im Tanzrausch auf


Wohin soll uns das führen? Humor wäre natürlich schön, ein Lächeln. Für den Fan. Humor ist es, der die Lust und Erlösung des Rhythmus mit der Schärfe des Draufblicks versöhnt. Aber sind Käptn Pengs Lyrics, die man zunächst als ulkig, gewitzt und wohltuend unkitschig rezipiert, sind sie wirklich von einer kontrollierten, pointenfreudigen Distanz-Lust getragen? Oder ist es doch wirklich der Blick eines, der wider den Willen fortgerissen wird aus allen Zusammenhängen? Irgendwo wohnt eine maximale Einsamkeit und Verzweiflung in diesen Texten, und wenn wir die erst gespürt haben, hilft uns die Musik kaum noch darüber hinweg."

The last paragraph sums up pretty well why I love these guys so much.

bimo: (Fivey_Adric_Tardis)
Well, you know how it goes... ;)

Books I bought but have yet to read:

  • Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall
  • Sven Regener: Herr Lehman

Recent cultural events that I went to:

bimo: (Default)
This afternoon, when I went out with Wesley, the Spaniel there were thick, heavy snowflakes falling down from the skies. If the weather forecast is right, Easter will be considerably warmer than last Christmas. Oh, parents with children of egg-seeking age, I really don't envy you at the moment.

But now for something more cheerful. I've been meaning to post these pictures ever since they were taken.

Look what I got from Cavendish as a birthday present )

bimo: (Mug_collectors)
Two anonymous online support groups that should exist, but unfortunately don't. At least not to my knowledge...

1. Christmas Phobics Anonymous. Not that I dislike Christmas per se. Also, I actually look forward to many of the things that usually come with the event. Card writing,  buying and giving presents, Christmas fairs, watching Christmas-y movies on TV, making my annual donation to Doctors without Borders. But all the social obligations and general business preceding Christmas Eve? Tend to make me rather anxious every time.

2. Anonymous Fans of Käptn Peng und die Tentakel von Delphi  Older Than 30 (Vereinigung Anonymer Käptn Peng Anhänger Ü30) .Cavendish and I went to their concert in Bochum last Monday. A simply wonderful experience, which I enjoyed so much I would like to draw sparkling hearts around it. But being able to clearly identify Cavendish and me on a picture taken during the concert and posted at the band's facebook site? More than just slightly weird, though a great virtual souvenir to remember a fantastic evening.

As for somewhat more age-appropriate cultural pursuits *g*:

Bernard Schultze: Gegenwelten at the Museum Küppersmühle, Duisburg, 19th October 2012 until 20th January 2013. I hadn't heard of the artist before we went there on Sunday, though Schultze apparently is being regarded as one of Germany's most important post WW II avantgardists. Very impressive exhibition, especially the sculptures, sometimes standing, sometimes dangling and mostly amorphous objects which Schultze named "migofs" and which possess an undeniably suggestive and nightmarish quality. Some of them reminded me of Hieronymus Bosch.

bimo: (Mug_collectors)

Only just about twenty-five people at special premiere screening of a film at a small arthouse cinema (with both the movie's director and parts of the cast present!) should be bound to indicate something, shouldn't it?

Please feel welcome to choose freely from the following more or less likely options below. More than just one correct answer is possible:

A) This surely isn't the new Hobbit or Justin Bieber movie.
B) Whatever Bimo and Cavendish went to see this weekend at the Astra in Essen was incredibly pointless and boring rubbish. I'm sure everyone (including the poor director) had an absolutely lousy and awkward time.
C) What the audience saw was a smart, witty, well-acted, well-observed comedy, highly entertaining and at times rather endearing. Relaxed and interesting discussion ensued.
D) Obviously this movie was one of those neat little films, which, due to lack of advertising budget will disappear from cinemas far too soon. A clear case of run and try to watch as long as it is shown in a theatre near you.

Well, if you've picked A, C and D, you've chosen wisely, as Dietrich Brüggemann's comedy Drei Zimmer/Küche/Bad is just this. Witty, surprisingly poignant at times and thus well worth seeing. Starting from its basic premise "Eight friends, four seasons, eleven different moving days" both the script and the very fine ensemble cast  manage to touch upon the full scale of chaos and complexities that usually come along with moving forwards or backwards in life. Moving in, moving out, searching, finding, regardless whether the need to do so should arise in your mid-twenties or much later.

bimo: (Swann_oldbie)
A rather normal Tuesday afternoon at Casa Bimo, roughly about 5 o'clock. BimoDad comes in, they both have coffee and apple pie, chatting about this and that. After a while BimoDad gets up from the coffee table, walks over to Bimo's TV set and grabs a S1 box set of Boston Legal lying on top of the DVD player. The following dialog ensues...

BimoDad: Oh, Boston Legal! Daughter, please don't tell me you actually bought this?
Bimo: Well, I didn't. Cavendish did.
BimoDad (frowning): Well...
Bimo: We've just watched the first bunch of episodes and to tell the truth, we rather like it so far. You think it's rubbish?
BimoDad: Not at all. Shatner's brilliant. And that guy who was Daniel Jackson in the original [Stargate] movie is great, too. [A small pause, more frowning, though BimoDad appears rather amused] You two really should have learned by now.
Bimo: What?
BimoDad: To come to me first. I've got all seasons on DVD. This is just like the Farscape incident...

During the minutes that followed I had trouble stopping my father, in his enthusiasm, from giving away some important S1 plot developments and thus spoiling me, as we really are just a bunch of episodes into the show.

Oh, and on matters completely unrelated to this: I just got a reply from the ZDF broadcasting station regarding my inquiry about the brief Robert Gwisdek feature I was interested in but cannot watch/record myself for technical reasons:

Sehr geehrte Frau Bimo RealName,

vielen Dank für Ihr Schreiben.

"Abgeschminkt - Robert Gwisdek" 22.03.2012

Leider können wir ihnen erst dann ein Angebot machen, wenn die Sendung ausgestrahlt wurde.
Wir bitten sie deshalb ihre Anfrage erst dann zu starten.

Thank you for that non-answer folks. (They basically said, they can't get back to me/make any offer before the feature's been broadcast.) All I wanted was to know in advance if I can simply obtain a copy via the ZDF of if I have to try finding someone in my circle of friends/relatives who can record the feature for me.

ETA: The ZDF people just got back to me. Yup, apparently it's possible to obtain a copy from them. Yeah! :-)
bimo: (Swann_oldbie)
Friends, readers, countrywomen...

still remember the early pre-internet 1990s when getting hold of certain interviews, articles and tv features was incredibly hard for the interested but unfortunately German-based viewer? A time where failing to record a show on your VHS meant that you probably had lost all chances of viewing said show unless you were really incredibly lucky and there was a re-run, or you happened to stumble across a kindred soul who had taped just the thing that you'd missed and was willing to share? Thus, when I was 17 I used to write very polite inquiries to German broadcasting stations, a lot. Would there be a re-run of X? Or was there any chance to perhaps acquire a copy of Y on VHS for a certain fee? Lucky for me, the necessity for writing those letters of inquiry lessened considerably over the years, mostly thanks to the emergence of the internet and all the wonderful possibilities and networking opportunities which it offered. If you are reading this, you probably know what I'm talking about *g*

But, guess what I just did only a couple of minutes ago... Yup. Wrote another one of those damned inquiries, at least in advance, as one tends to be more well-informed and organised with increasing age.

Recipient: ZDFKultur, a more culturally oriented sub branch of the ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, one of our main public-service television broadcasters). Unfortunately only available via satellite and cable, which I cannot receive for technical reasons.

The show in question: Abgeschminkt, 22./23.03. 2012, a brief documentary about German actor/artist/musician Robert Gwisdek, son of actors Corinna Harfouch and Michael Gwisdek.

Why would I possibly be interested in viewing this? : Well, Robert Gwisdek is interesting. Rather promising, highly talented actor, and judging by his interviews and music projects apparently also equipped with a very well-functioning brain. When Gwisdek's not busy acting, traveling or doing something entirely else, he is making something (under the pseud of KÄPTN PENG), that can only be described as inhabiting the borderland between "a type of music usually so not my cup of tea that I don't even know its proper name" and bloody brilliant, bizarre performance art video installations with rather unique lyrics.

Kreisfilm, Shaban & Käptn Peng on Youtube

One of my favourite vids


bimo: (Default)



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