Today I spoke over Skype with Amma and Rashmi. I remembered home a little more than usual. There was someone else in the common room where I was using the Internet so didn’t talk much. However, once I disconnected the call, I came to know that the lady sitting in the room was Kaveree Bamzai, the other person from India in our group. She is the executive editor for India Today and works from Delhi. She is a sweet lady with deep interest and concern towards Indian cinema and world cinema. We spoke for a while about the past few days at the Berlinale. Then I had to go to Plastama Platsa to get tickets for tomorrow screenings.
While I was returning after I had bought the tickets, I met Karlo, also walking towards the train station to get back to the hotel. I asked him if he was going to the hotel now, as we had to catch the train to go to Potsdam for the days meeting. He said, he would go to the Loreal make up shop before catching the train. They have put up a beautiful shop right between the roads elevated from the road for about 10-15 feet! It’s a shop with glass walls. It was an interesting way to advertise. My friend had fallen for the trick. But then I asked him, isn’t it for women? He said, “No it’s for all people. I want to try.” I thought he was joking. But then I had to believe him when he entered the make up shop. I didn’t wait there to see what happened next. But I was very intrigued!
I reached the hotel and we got in to the train on time. Karlo too was there. I asked him what happened at the make up shop. He was very happy. He said, they applied some cream and some perfume. Then they said they don’t have anything for black skin and sent him back. But he seemed to be very happy about their service! I was wondering about the exploring nature these guys have. I wouldn’t have done it! And I wouldn’t have even thought about something unusual. I think they are so successful in life because of their curious nature towards everything.
Anyway, we reached Potsdam on time for the meeting at the Hochschule Fur Film und Fernsehen “Konrad Wolf” (HFF) – a German film school. I was happy to know that Kedar Awati the dean of FTII was there just the previous day and this school had just entered in to an agreement with FTII for a student exchange. We had a detailed tour of the film school till about 3 in the evening. We saw three short films from the past year students and they were all good. Then we saw a well-arranged library, color correction stage, sound stage and a huge animation studio. The work they are doing there is very nice. I liked the architecture of the entire school very interesting. It looks like the sets from the film Brazil! I ask the keepers of the school if there was any Indian who studied there. One lady fondly remembered an Indian lady who studied there. But then I learnt that she had passed away about 15 years ago. Now her daughter had graduated from the same film school and was working in German film industry. Sad to know that someone came down all the way from India to learn film making here and is now no more.
Anyway, once we come back from the film school, I go straight to Zoo Palast for the screenings. But before the screening I still had about an hour. So Alex and I walk in to this huge church across the street. The top of it was broken during the World War 2. It was preserved as it was as a reminder of the bad effects of wars. It is indeed a painful thing to see. I can’t but appreciate the artisanship of the Germans. The church is so beautiful, I am sure it must have been an extremely painful thing to witness it getting bombed. I am sad to those people who had to suffer the World War. I feel for the German citizens of that time. At the same time, I appreciate their taste for art and zeal to fight life.
I watch two films back to back at Zoo Palast after the church visit. First one was a Brazilian film about their traditional martial art and its history, philosophy told through the fiction style. Second one was an American film about dead daughter and parents trying to gulp it through some stray girl etc. etc. both the films were pretty much ok but nothing great. I liked several images from the first film and the sweetness from the second film.
Alex and I come back to the hotel and it’s already very late. So I go to bed now. Tomorrow is the compulsory official meetings at the Fedaral Office. I am worried, as I don’t have the proper dress code! Let’s see how things work out.