Pink Flamingos, 1972.

As epic as it can get, the Pope of Trash is in town!

“In the 60s the bad reviews helped me, but that wouldn’t happen today. Now all film critics are hip; there are no square film critics anymore…or at least very few.”

John Waters

Growing up in Baltimore in the 1950s, John Waters was not like other children; he was obsessed by violence and gore, both real and on the screen. With his weird counter-culture friends as his cast, he began making silent 8mm and 16mm films in the mid-’60s; he screened these in rented Baltimore church halls to underground audiences drawn by word of mouth and street leafleting campaigns.

By the early 1970s he was making features, which he managed to get shown in midnight screenings in art cinemas by sheer perseverance. Success came when Pink Flamingos (1972) – a deliberate exercise in ultra-bad taste – took off in 1973, helped no doubt by lead actor Divine‘s infamous dog-crap eating scene. (

First time in Germany!

Prices: from 30,60 €

When: Sun, 09.02.2014, 20:00 clock
Tickets: Order by phone

Pied Piper by Vivek Budakoti

Because it’s a freak house, the place where everything is possible. Where you forget who you are, dissolving in the filmic nonsense. And every stranger in the room is the dearest alien to you. The childhood, the adolescence and the old age come together and generate the best viewer.

6-16 February

No admission till 8 pm

Film, Music, Art


Facebook Event

1. The first reason why I like Directors Lounge, is its team. They’re all true characters. Once you see them, you never forget, and even more you won’t confuse them with anyone else! Greet them when you meet them.

2. The second reason, of course, is the film selection. This is where I lose myself. I stop even blinking, breathing and thinking. It’s just not necessary. Directors Lounge always has a crazy selection, for every taste: funny, ugly, surreal, disturbing, queer, touching and everything else what cannot be categorized. See the programme. 11 days of a video quirk is a great way to overdoze. You will look at the world with the different eyes.

Gilivanka Kedzior and Barbara Friedman

3. And the third reason, is the place. It’s the boring Alexanderplatz area, but Naherholung Sternchen is a real underground explosive. They have entirely rebuilt it within the last year, expanded and made even more freaky (A Twin Peaks party took a place there in December 2013; and I met Bob). On a regular DL night the aliens smoke cigarettes, drink beer and dance. It’s all good. And yes, there are plenty couches to share with directors.

These all three reasons create a very bizarre atmosphere, where I never know if I am who I am.

Some acts I am looking forward to seeing:

– World Premier: Nonconformity by Igor Parfenov 13.02. 

Nonconformity is a multilayered epos based on the works by Leо Tolstoy. The action is shifted to our reality. The spotlight of the story is a withdrawn existence of mountain village inhabitants.


– LIVE: Steve Morell 16.02. 10:30 pm

is a  remixer, DJ, producer, musician, founder of the record label “Pale Music Int.” and the German underground festival Berlin Insane.

– The exhibition: Digital Storytelling | arts and informatics 9-16.2. daily 6-9pm

Digital storytelling presents an installation of books that trigger interaction through the flipping of pages next to selected works from the Directors Lounge open call and video installations from the FKI, the research center of arts and informatics. All at the gallery space next to the Naherholung Sternchen

– Film Performance: Reynold Reynolds 11.02. 9pm

The live construction of the image destroys the illusion of film, revealing the whole studio process as art.

This guy does brainshaking stuff.

Secret Life from Artstudio Reynolds on Vimeo.

– LIVE: DIETER RITA SCHOLL with Martina Colli, piano 12.02. 10:30pm

Dieter Rita Scholl

A very special guest performing live, accompanied by Italian import pianist Martina Colli, straying from the classical repertoire of her recent album into the world of the offbeat.

– Live Performance: Still und Dunkel (silent and dark)

An audiovisual performance by Christoph Brünggel and Benny Jaberg.

Our interest lies in the aura of disused factories, abandoned civil defense facilities and similar supposed utopian, non-places‘. The temporality of such locations and their potential to evoke the feeling of loneliness in the spectator inspires us. We examine abandoned places towards its capacity to store and capture time in itself with artistic means.

While Nick Cave said he’ll pop in to Berlinale on the 10th of February, I really think he should come for the afterparty at Directors Lounge.

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey

Berlin, Kreuzberg. Image taken from:

I’ve been in Berlin long enough to explore most of the search engines and now I am able to tell which are worth spending your time on. I ignore Craigslist in 99 cases out 100. I found my 1st job there, which lasted only 2 months, and never ever found anything decent again. Most of the time you do not even get a reply, because of the extreme expat overload.

After 2,5 years my search expanded up to 10-15 pages, which I will happily share with you. While to find a regular, 40h arts/culture related job with a contract in Berlin is almost impossible (especially if you’re just like me B2, or around that level); I still managed to get some really nice projects. And I am talking here about the jobs where you come with a certain level of professionalism and competence, I’d like to leave behind jobs like waitressing and bar tending; those you find just by popping in every bar/cafe you like and leaving your CV.

Job hierarchy. Image taken from:

Job hierarchy. Image taken from:

My first advice, use LinkedIn! Especially if you’re an IT specialist/ business expert/graduate. (for English speakers) (a mix of jobs) (tech jobs) (jobs at startups, a great a list!) (jobs at startups) (jobs at startups) (jobs at startups) (a mix of creative jobs) (a mix of jobs) (a mix of jobs) (create your work portfolio and let the employers find you! At first I found this as a really great alternative to all the boring online application websites; they would connect you to all sort of interesting employers; which ask you random, but work related questions online, and depending on your answers could schedule an interview or just add you to their archive of “good candidates”. I was extremely excited about this, because I’ve probably filled in at least a thousand work applications and wrote a bit less than that cover letters in my life; and here you did not need ANY of this. Oh, what a relief!  And the most importantly I got job interviews!

Later they have changed their policy, to exactly what I said above “create your work portfolio and let the employers find you” – does not work. The workers of Somewhere try really hard to show their interest in you, yet NO real employers approach you. But I keep on returning to this page time to time, in case there is a good change. They’re young and growing, and they will see themselves eventually what really works for the job seekers, as employers won’t come to you, it’s THEIR time, you have to come to THEM. (A very useful source for any creative in Berlin, bookmark this and check regularly. Not only they have art/culture related job positions, but as well as they help you with your own projects and fund raising) (Another extremely good website for the creatives) (a mix of creative jobs) (highly professional design jobs) ( a mix of design jobs) (German LinkedIn, they like it!) (a mix of jobs, one of my favorite search engines) (good for the young people, offers a lot of internships) (speaks for itself) (a mix of jobs) (everything film related) (art jobs, internships, events and more)

Warner Brothers

I’ve done tons of free work in Berlin: photography, editing/reviews, PR etc. That gives you new experience, accreditation to the best festivals or concerts in Berlin, yet does not pay your rent. If you want to get paid, forget about any film festivals or even events like Transmediale. I was offered to be a runner for Warner Brothers, who had 2 day shooting in Berlin. My task would be – responsible for thousands euro worth equipment (ARRI) and serve the director, making sure he’s all happy in his chair, he can see the preview of the shot material and his coffee is always warm. 12h at least on a set each day, for €55,- ! When I pulled off, they were, to put it mildly, very disappointed. They would say later via e-mail, that with such attitude I will not get far in the film industry. Oh, what a shame, now I don’t have Warner Brothers on my CV, and I did not get €55. Besides, they called IT an INTERNSHIP, and never mentioned THE name of the company until I saw them in person. Two weeks later I’d be an extra in a student film, drinking beer in a bar, that’s all I had to do. 2h of shooting – €20. Found via Crew-United.

Speaking of extras, if you want to be an extra, and you’re desperate for money, register at: – they really send e-mails with offers. But be ready for 10h sitting and waiting and be in front of the camera for an hour max. Bring a book. You get free food and they also pay €55 (sometimes a bit more), but at least you’re not doing anything highly responsible; and it’s barely a job, if you read for 9h, it’s just boring to death, but I’ve done it. There are many more websites which look for extras, but I never really got any calls from them. Just make sure you do free photos in their photo studio; and then you’re in the active list.

The problem of Berlin – there are too many freelancers. Not that they want to be independent, they’re forced to, because the company would not sign a contract. And you end up paying your health insurance yourself, with up to €600/m and you have no pension scheme, or do you? Very cheeky. But even if you do some freelance work, make sure you sign some sort of freelance contract; otherwise you might not get paid.

Transmediale - the largest digital art festival in Europe, exploits theirs interns like slaves for €135/m.

Transmediale – the largest digital art festival in Europe, exploits theirs interns for €135/m.

viel Glück!

No Pants Day. London. Image taken from

The No Pants Subway Ride, an annual event organized by New York City prank collective Improv Everywhere.

The first No Pants Subway Ride took place in 2002 with seven riders and has grown since then. The event has expanded considerably over the years. In 2013 over 4,000 people participated in New York and tens of thousands more participated in 60 other cities in 25 countries around the world.

Hornet – Gay Social Network supports a lot of events and causes.

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KaterHolzig. Image taken from

One of the best Berlin clubs, Katerholzig, has held its last party on January the 5th, 2014.

First there was the Bar 25, it was an internationally recognized techno wonderland on the river Spree, which was opened in 2004 and closed in the year 2010 after a 5 day-long party. Gentrification. Bar 25 itself was a symbol against gentrification (see the image on the bottom), every summer it was closing for a winter break without knowing for sure if it will get reopen next spring.

People who have experienced the Bar 25 say it was the best of the best. “It has changed Berlin’s party landscape, supported and even made the careers of many now famous DJs”. The legend which is now immortalized on film by Britta Mischer and Nana Yuriko.

See the trailer below, and watch the full film HERE.

Not long after the Bar 25 closure, the owners have opened KaterHolzig, a night club with a similar concept in the same area by the river Spree. The yard was also made out of wood with several DIY constructions and little lamps hiding under the stairs. From the outside it looked like a squat, reminding me of KØPI, half-demolished 5 floor building, all in graffiti and posters. On Saturdays they had a market with people selling organic food and self made clothing. This was the only time you could do some snaps of this place, during the night you could have been easily thrown out for just photographing your buddies.

Katerholz just like Barghain and many other clubs in Berlin had a strict and unexplainable face control. “No” meant you are not getting in tonight. People who went to the Bar 25 concluded that KaterHolzig was a hipster version, but I personally don’t like labels. And for someone from Latvia, this was still a pretty damn unique place. Of course, the stories about the famous Bar 25 brought tons of tourists to KaterHolzig, and the atmosphere changed. But it was voted as the 3rd best Berlin nightclub by

The rumors about Katerholzig closure were going around for a long time, until December 2013, when it became clear this Silvester will be the last one for this place.

“I stumbled across this place on a Monday evening after I rode my bike past it and heard the thumping beats and faint flashing lights from the street.  I was drawn in and since I had no idea what this place was, it felt like a night out at Burning Man coming across a party.  There were people out front chatting and smoking and the little shack was ensconced in smoke with beat flowing out and the silhouette of people dancing inside. 

I ended up going in and there was a really good vibe.  Turns out most of the people there were dancing still from Sunday night so a bit cracked out of a crowd, but hey that still reminded me of Burning Man.  Anyhow, I met some awesome fun folks and even got added to the guest list for later in the week when I returned.  That’s when I realized that I was only in the “Kiosk” front shack and that there’s a big old club behind it too.”

Gene X, CA.

“This place is crazy, one room is with techno music the other with a theater show and then you find yourself in the middle of a hot jazzy berlin jam session, it’s exciting!”

Contrabass O., AL

What’s next?  There are rumors about Bar 25 reunification. The time will show, yet you and me who have been there, are a part of a history, and this is pretty good feeling.

Edited Jan 9: “They’ve already started to realise a new project on the other side of the river where bar25 used to be. these people don’t give up that easily. good on them.” – Liyona

Edited Jan 10: “Dirty Doering on air last night, one of the main protagonists behind the now closed Katerholzig and the manager of Katermukke. It doesn’t get more Berlin techno. Enjoy! Tracklist & more here: ” Electronic Beats

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Image taken from

Kater Holzig. Image taken from

Mogwai: Rave Tapes

The new Mogwai album Rave Tapes will be released January 20th 2014 via Rock Action/Sub Pop. They are on tour in Germany, and in Berlin February the 6th. They have chosen a very special location, called Tempordrom – it’s a white round building with spiky roof ends. I can see this building from my window. And it is one of those times when the support band is almost as exciting as the main act – Forest Swords. It is one producer, Matthew Barnes, from The Wirral/Liverpool, UK. His latest album is a true forest chaos. Get lost in those sounds!

For those who did not know Barry Burns from Mogwai runs a pub in Neukoelln, called Das Gift, it is always the best music in town and a nice drink selection! I suggest to try Andechs beer, my favorite! Just beware the doppelbock.

After this post-rock show Berlin will have another chance to see  a post-punk/shoegaze band The Soft Moon, who are playing on February the 11th in Berghain, often called the best club in Europe. I have been to a gig there before, it’s great acoustics and the beton echo blends with the cold punky waves very well.

See you there!

Typical Berlin. 1st of May. Drugs free zone - Goerli. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Typical Berlin. 1st of May. Drugs free zone – Goerli. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Here is my 2013 in retrospect. I do this yearly just to look back and see what new and exciting or maybe shocking and sad happened within the last 12 months.

Berlin is the most alive city I’ve ever lived in. Everyday something happens. I really should start making a diary like in old days, hand written, with scribbles and one day this can become a book.

Let’s see first, who’s been reading Avant-Hard:

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Sebastian Bieniek

Everyone seems to be talking about a Berlin based artist Sebastian Bieniek; oh yes, even Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol.

The first time I’ve heard about Sebastian, was in April 2013, when Deutsche Bank has announced an opening of their new Kunsthalle (Art Hall) in Berlin. On April the 5th Kunsthalle was accepting everybody’s art just for one day; until the space is full. People came early in the morning and queued for hours. There was also a cash prize of €500 for the best piece.

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Image taken from

This is in relation to the previous blogpost, how to avoid food wastage and eat for free.

This same organisation just recently started a new initiative called  which makes sure that bakeries and shops in Berlin do not throw away the food they cannot sell tomorrow, but give it for free to those in need. And you do not have be an alcoholic or homeless, anyone can sign up and pick up, sometimes, kilograms of free food.

My flatmates discovered this system about a month ago, ever since we have been having tons of free sandwiches,  sweet pastry, bio salad, broccoli, avocado etc. If the bakery tells you we close at 6pm please come 5min. before, you cannot be late! Once you’re late they will sign you off.

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© picture alliance­: dpa

© picture alliance­: dpa

Because Germans have a program called Food Sharing.

We all happen to buy sometimes too much, or the wrong item, or we simply go for a holiday and need to empty the fridge. Or maybe you had a birthday party with lots of cakes and salads and now you don’t know how to finish them all. There are many reasons why we throw away food. found the way to save the products we cannot or don’t want to consume anymore.

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