HR Giger (1940–2014) is best known for the nightmarish creatures and environments of 1979’s Alien, and more broadly for his transgressive (yet deeply stylized and stylish) paintings on broadly “biomechanical” themes. Much of Giger’s work, which in addition to the paintings and drawings for which he was best known included sculpture, industrial art, and even furniture, was created in his Zurich home studio, which he transformed over the decades into a real-world embodiment of his aesthetic.
Noriyoshi Ohrai (1935-2015) was a Japanese poster artist and illustrator known for his vivid work that elevated mainstream sci-fi and action tropes into hallucinatory, richly detailed compositions. In addition to his well-known posters for Star Wars and Godzilla, he created promotional artwork for thousands of films from Japan and around the world.
FROM THE VERY earliest days of film, Berlin has made essential contributions to the medium, as both a center of production and a filming location. One of the most legendary silent films of all time, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, was made in Weißensee in 1920, part of a golden age when hundreds of films were produced in Berlin’s “Little Hollywood”.
All photos taken during Berlinale 2018, 15-25 February 2018.
THERE IS A vast openness – visually, thematically, atmospherically – to any given Tarkovsky film that feels easy to attribute to the monumental scale of Russia, both in its history and its sheer physical size. But this too-easy association belittles an artist who brought immense visions to life as much in spite of his homeland as because of it.
THE ROOTS OF Russian Cosmism lie in the transcendental utopian writings of the 19th-century philosopher Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov, who advocated for, among other things, the exploration of space and a literal overcoming of death. Inextricably tied to the Russian Revolution and the rise of the USSR, Cosmism promoted broad ideals that mirrored the heart of Communism: that humanity should collectively strive to transcend the petty, temporary, and mundane.
THIS YEAR’S BERLINALE Festival—the 67th—featured a wide-ranging selection of curiosities from decades past, from thwarted epics to camp relics to vast, inscrutable psychedelia.
Phantom Architecture is a series focusing on vanished buildings, both in Berlin and further afield.
Like so many Berlin locations, the corner of Turmstraße and Stromstraße in Moabit saw multiple buildings rise and fall over not centuries, but decades. The first, the Ufa-Palast, was built in 1925 by the state-sponsored Universum Films AG. Designed by the architect Fritz Wilms (who specialized in theaters), it was a massive, 1700-seat cinema, complete with a classical, columned facade, a lavish foyer with its own phone booth, and a restaurant (the somewhat alarmingly named Café Vaterland) in a separate building just east of the theater.