Babylon Berlin

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by MikeKardec, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    This is a Netflix offering with subtitles. I've just finished Episode One and, story-wise, it is intriguing (that's all it can be so far) but the atmosphere, sets (other than one typically European, too-clean, semi CG shot), costumes (other than one particularly bad hat) are first among firsts. I've learned that, with a few exceptions like Deutschland '83, I shouldn't expect much from German TV but this is a cut above. The setting is Berlin in 1929 and so far all I can say is that there are either several plots or there are plots within plots. We'll see how it goes ...

    Anyone else watching? If not, give it a shot and weigh in.
     
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  2. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    So far, it's pretty slick. Some sequences that take place in an avant-garde cabaret seem anachronistic because of the music; however, the vibe is pure Wiemar decadence, so it's okay in my book. Also, I don't know anything about specifically Wiemar era German popular music, so I could be dead wrong in my assessment . . .
     
  3. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    We have watched the first episode. I agree, it will take a bit to sort out all of the plots and subplots. We intend to stay with it and see how it develops.
     
  4. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Yeah, I just hit that Cabaret scene. I'd say ... maybe. Poetry was in in a way we don't see it today, except maybe as rap, so it kind of got a pass in my book. The poetry of the time might have been a bit more traditional though it was the age of the Modernist, industrial symphonies, Cubism, and the like.

    From what I'd read about the show politically I expected it to be painfully "woke" but, in Germany, they are going into their third season, so this season (or series one in Euro parlance) was shot some time ago. So far I'd say it's doing pretty good. Some of the attitude I was reading may have been more the American reporter trying to sound cool or make it seem timely.

    Typically, you can tell that modern actors (especially the minor ones) are not comfortable with firearms, certainly not like real thugs and Great War veterans would be. Most actors get over it given a certain amount of exposure (see Band of Brothers!) but otherwise it always looks like, no matter how small or light the gun, it's too big for them. In Band of Brothers you had a bunch of mid sized young men and none ever looked like their Garand rifles (relatively huge) were too large or too heavy.

    It's nice to see a historical European production where they spent some money and got their money's worth ... The US does it well, and so do the Brits and Australians, but Germany's been sort of hit or miss over the years.

    Don't you LOVE those chain-of-boxes elevators in the police headquarters!
     
  5. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Pushing farther into it the details, sets, set dressing, costumes, are really a cut above. Better than a lot of American films where there would be few mistakes but not such careful subtle stuff. Typically, the one potentially glaring error (depending on how they try to use it) was introducing a "see in the dark" rifle scope. What they used as a prop was just a garden variety period scope but it's special qualities seem to suggest some sort of electronic night vision (not really a thing for ten years and then cumbersome and experimental ... it was basically a light amplifying television device) although the problem could also have been solved by suggesting a scope with large (passive light gathering) objectives. These are pretty common in Europe today (a lot of European hunting is twilight hunting) though I've never seen a vintage one. The technology was definitely possible at the time, totally believable in that an optics house could have simply make one up custom if necessary. Film makers rarely get all the firearm or automobile details right and it's nearly always because they don't seem to know what they don't know!

    Other than that, the details are out of control terrific.
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Anyone know if it's on Netflix UK yet?
     
  7. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Okay, into the last episode and still very, very, good. I do wonder if CPR was a thing in the '20s ... I sort of remember some old technique of working the arms back and forth on a drowned person. The rifle scope thing turned out to be a nonstarter, possibly even a translation issue. Nothing special was needed and whether it was 'special' or not I suspect it was simply supposed to be good for it's purpose. There are however some issues with the weight of coal and a certain chemical's flammability providing we know what chemical it is.

    Regardless, an absolutely KILLER production.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  8. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    ^^^ I have not seen that episode yet, but I know that chest compressions had been introduced by then, although I am not sure how well known they would have been. Mouth to mouth was quite a few years in the future at that point.
     
  9. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I'm eager to watch this!
     
  10. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I'm already on episode 5 of Babylon Berlin. Definitely not one to let the kids watch! But I'm completely hooked. So many different plot threads...anxious to see how they all tie together.
     
  11. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    Haven't seen it..... but if it's set in the 1920s it might be good! who knows....
     
  12. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    One episode in and, as Mikekardec argues with much greater knowledge than I could, the period, set details and design are top notch.

    So far, the story is good set up / intrigue - all it can be in the first episode - and the acting is solid.

    I'm looking forward to catching up to the rest of you.
     
  13. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

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    I finished it last night. Holy wow. Very, very impressed. The performances were top notch and the sets, costumes, etc., were incredible. But the storyline? Wow. How they pulled everything together was fantastic.

    This won Best Drama at the German awards equivalent to the American Emmy's, and I think it is well deserved. Highly, highly recommend this show.
     
  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I loved it! Absolutely fell in love with the Charlotte character. SPOILER ALERT! if the outcome of the car crash had been different both my wife and I swore we would not be watching Season 2 BUT then...........
    PS I wish the lead male wore a better hat!
     
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  15. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Yeah. What was wrong with that damn hat? It seemed as if it was lengthened as if he has a long oval head ... but he sure didn't look like it. Was it a super round size that was slightly stretched for a guy with a normal head? No idea but you do have to look at it a lot and it was unfortunate given the excellence of all else. Many of my initial reservations quickly evaporated.

    It really shows you how over costumed and over glammed the make up is in 99% of American productions. It also shows you how wonderful it is for an art director to have a place where the 1930s lasted into the 1990s right next door. I think some of the reason the costume/prop/set trifecta could so carefully pick out class differences was because a the sheer amount of props and locations were "left over" in East Germany. Other than an occasionally age distressed "new" thing it was extraordinary. I've been recommending it to artist and art director friends.
     
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  16. Brass Monkey

    Brass Monkey New in Town

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    Great show, just finised the first series. Loved the costumes and cars. I also enjoyed Peaky Blinders but Berlin had way more to it and better hair styles too.
     
  17. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I finished it last night. After the first episode I wasn't sure if I would stay with it. Now I think it may be among the best of recent television drama. I'm wondering when the next season will appear.
     
  18. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    Be sure you saw all 16 episodes ... Netflix, on my computer forced me to go to the menu to pull up all the episodes after #7! There is a series 3 that has been discussed.
     
  19. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I watched it on the television. All 16 came up one after another with no help from me. I just wish there were more.
     
  20. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Anyone know if/when this will be on Netflix UK?
     

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