Beyond the Berlin Trilogy
October 26, 2013 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period.

Not so much looking for the broad historical stuff, but really more interested in what it would have been like for artsy-bohemian types living in that place and time.

I've already looked through the answers to this question as well.
posted by Kitty Stardust to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
OstPunk! Too Much Future: A documentary about punk in East Berlin

Berlin Super 80: Music & Film Underground, West Berlin, 1978-1984
posted by mykescipark at 12:50 PM on October 26, 2013

Herr Lehmann by Sven Regener. There's also a film version.
posted by neilb449 at 2:02 PM on October 26, 2013

I didn't see Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin), Wim Wenders, 1987 listed in the previous list. It has some good cameos and such. Perhaps it fits the bill.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 2:04 PM on October 26, 2013

Two books: Peter Schneider's The Wall Jumper and Ian Walker's Zoo Station.
posted by grounded at 2:09 PM on October 26, 2013

Two starting points for music:Ton Steine Scherben and Jingo de Lunch
And it might be a bit close to Len Deighton for you but I've always found that anything John Le Carre writes about Berlin is startlingly accurate - see his portrayal of radical commune life in 80s Berlin in Absolute Friends.
And seconding Herr Lehmann.
If you're in Berlin or read German I could recommend more specific stuff
posted by runincircles at 4:02 PM on October 26, 2013

Anna Funder's book Stasiland is partly about the Stasi in the DDR, but just as much about how Germany (and above all Berlin) was dealing with them after the wall came down. It tells you as much about Berlin in the 1990s as about the DDR, which is to say a lot about both.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 4:07 PM on October 26, 2013

Wings of Desire is my favorite film of all time, but it is deeply impressionistic/poetic and will tell you pretty much nothing of real life in Berlin, beyond some truly gorgeous cinematography around the city and its environs. You should see it anyway!
posted by mykescipark at 4:24 PM on October 26, 2013

I haven't seen it myself but Dorfpunks is a fairly recent film about punk in 80s Germany. Trailer
posted by cazoo at 4:41 PM on October 26, 2013

This mid 80's doc about the punk scene in Berlin was part of an episode of The Tube (ace music show in the UK.)

I'm delighted your question reminded me of it and that some genius had put it up on to YouTube for me to download.
posted by merocet at 4:51 PM on October 26, 2013

My friend Katrin lived it and still lives there today. She pointed out Fehlfarben's first album Monarchie und Alltag as one thing that was big.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 PM on October 26, 2013

Not directly related to the arts colony, but a telling phenomenon of the times were the Geisterbahnhöfe. Wikipedia explains.
posted by bertran at 10:21 PM on October 26, 2013

I Am My Own Woman

Goes over a much larger swath of history -- but it'll reach the late eighties and early nineties toward the end, in Berlin, from the perspective of a counter culture group!
posted by vitabellosi at 7:45 PM on October 27, 2013

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