The Films of Cities

Oh Boy!: To Fall in Love with Berlin Again

Tamara Khodova, a Moscow based film journalist, with her own words, is "absolutely obsessed with films, festivals and Berlin". She wrote to me about her five Berlin movies and the absolute favourite one.

5 Films

There are so many great movies about Berlin!

For instance, Run Lola Run;

With a captivating score by Alexandre Desplat, Wolfgang Becker’s nostalgic “Good Bye Lenin”;

By Simona Kostova, melancholic and bitter Dreissig;

Just premiered at Berlinale prömiyeri Christian Petzold’s romantic Undine...

But my personal all-time favorite is by Jan-Ole Gerster: Oh Boy!.

If You Were to Choose One

Oh Boy!tells the story of unmotivated university dropout Nico who is wandering aimlessly through life and the streets of Berlin. All he needs is a couple of euros to buy himself a coffee but one day even this simple task becomes impossible as the world is getting more and more hostile towards Nico’s nonchalant way of living. His father cuts off his allowance, his girlfriend dumps him, and his psychiatrist insists he is emotionally unstable.

How is the City Reflected

Gerster explores the city through the eyes of the young man who is forced to give up the comfort of his own world and engage in life. He takes us on a journey through shabby bars and clubs covered in graffiti, localSpäti,Soviet tower blocks, old-fashioned apartments of drug dealers’ grandmas, U-bahn trains patrolled by inspectors who look like bullies, sleepy parks in the grey morning light of a new day and famous murals some of which no longer exist. These images are so precise and vivid that you inevitably immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city. “Oh boy” depicts the sheer quintessence of Berlin spirit. It’s frivolous, serene, a little bit lost in time and it’s shown with such affection that you fall in love with Berlin all over again. U-bahn trains patrolled by inspectors who look like bullies, sleepy parks in the grey morning light of a new day and famous murals some of which no longer exist. These images are so precise and vivid that you inevitably immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city. “Oh boy” depicts the sheer quintessence of Berlin spirit. It’s frivolous, serene, a little bit lost in time and it’s shown with such affection that you fall in love with Berlin all over again.

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