Category Archives: Travel

My Desert Films (II): Zzyzx

Beside Gold. – which I covered in my previous post – there is another short film I did that is set in a desert. Its name sounds very strange: Zzyzx (pronounced: Zy-Zacks, it rhymes with “Isaac’s”, according to the person who came up with the name). What is the background of this small short film with its found footage look that’s so different from the more experimental Gold.? Continue reading

My Desert Films (I): Gold.

Gold. One of my most experimental films, with an introduction by Miles Kreuger.

Deserts hold a special fascination for me. In 2011, a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas sparked my interest in those surroundings. That trip felt magical: Traveling to Las Vegas (receiving an award for my film Mutant Calculator there), and then back to LA for the West Coast Premiere of my film Menschenliebe, it was my very first time in California and Nevada. Watching Mojave desert outside the car’s window – a landscape I had only known from films beforehand – made me feel like I was in an entirely new, fascinating and foreign surrounding. Continue reading

Prügelnde Prinzen und renovierte Paläste

Bei einem Spaziergang in Stettin

Bei einem Spaziergang in Stettin

Ich sitze in Stettin und bin fasziniert. Wie sich – nur durch ein Überschreiten einer Ländergrenze – Ambiente, Atmosphäre; Stadtbilder ändern. Besonders bizarr ist dies bei Stettin, da die Stadt bis 1945 ja deutsch war, und sich demnach vom Stadtbild her nicht so sehr von Städten in Deutschland unterscheiden dürfte. Zur genauen Geschichte des Wiederaufbaus kann ich wenig sagen; ihm sind natürlich viele sozialistisch angehauchte Betongebäude im Stadtbild zu “verdanken”; aber auch ehemals deutsche Gebäude – selbst aufwändig renovierte – fühlen sich beim Betrachten für mich als Teil einer anderen Kultur an. Liegt es an der Umgebung, ist meine Wahrnehmung nur durch die Erwartungshaltung “ich bin in einem anderen Land!” “eingefärbt”? Continue reading

Plastic Bags and Winter Coats

San Francisco Skyline, which I photographed on December 24, 2012.

San Francisco Skyline, which I photographed on December 24, 2012.

While staying in Rome, Italy in August 2013, I discovered a tactic to be confused with a native Roman as a tourist: Carry a plastic-bag with some groceries with you. This sounds strange, but it seems to work, as I found out by accident: I had gone on a daytrip to explore Pompeij early in the morning, and when driving back to Rome in the afternoon, I had bought a big bottle of water at a rest stop, and they had put it in a white plastic bag. When the bus then dropped me off close to the hotel, I realized that I was hungry and started walking down Via Veneto with my bag. Now, the previous days, I had often walked the same street and tried to be not noticed as a tourist, but to no avail: Even though I talked to people only in my best Italian (which, frankly, still has a strong accent), they always responded in English. Very often when I passed restaurants, the waiters outside would approach me: “Good evening, mister. Want something to eat…” My outfit was as neutral as possible – black T-Shirt and black pants – so that couldn’t have been the reason. Continue reading