Where was which film shot? Does Mr Lehmann’s restaurant really exist or was it just a set? Since when do you cross the Oberbaumbrücke to get from the Adlon to Tegel Airport? Film buffs like me are actually constantly busy trying to reconcile reality with the illusions of the dream factories. New York is reflected in hundreds of films, Paris always seems to be in black and white, and London’s always swallowed up in fog. And Berlin? Many films have been made here in Berlin. Some have become immortal classics, while others have rightfully fallen into oblivion. Here is a small selection of places where film history was written.
This is where Lola ran as she tried to raise the money for her boyfriend in time. Although Lola’s zigzag path across different Berlin districts might seem a bit odd for locals, the red-brick Oberbaumbrücke between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg is a spectacular setting for such action. That’s what the makers of “Unknown” must have thought as they had Diane Kruger and Liam Neeson’s taxi fall into the Spree off the bridge.
Zoologischer Garten / Friedrichstraße
My favourite scene in “The Bourne Supremacy”: Jason Bourne is being pursued and he runs from Kantstraße to Zoologischer Garten and then suddenly runs across the bridge to the Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn station How did he manage to run all those miles in just one cut?
Bollywood in Berlin: Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan shot his gangster ballad “Don 2” in Berlin. The highlight comes when Don falls off the roof of the Park Inn Hotel on Alexanderplatz, but is caught by a rope and thus escapes his pursuers. If you’d like to give that trick a try, you should sign up for a base jump from the same hotel.
Numerous spy movies take place in Berlin and, of course, 007 has already been around the town: in the opening scene of “Octopussy”, he travels into East Germany via Checkpoint Charlie.
“One, two, three”, the indestructible classic from 1961, featured an important scene at the´Brandenburger Gate. But it had to be filmed on a studio set because the Berlin Wall was constructed, making filming at the gate suddenly impossible.
“St James Place”, Steven Spielberg’s latest film with Tom Hanks, has not yet been released, but the scenes on Glienicker Brücke have already been filmed. And even the Chancellor visited the crew on-set.
Here the angels from “Wings of Desire” observed those pouring over volumes in the reading room and heard their thoughts like an endless stream of whispers: the Staatsbibliothek (State Library) at Potsdamer Platz. Even Potsdamer Platz, shown in black and white as an empty non-place in the middle of the city, cut off by the wall, plays an important role in the film.
Weltrestaurant Markthalle in Kreuzberg
Less poetic. but more laconic and with typical Berlin dialect: “Herr Lehmann”, a film about life in Kreuzberg while the Wall still stood. His pub really is at Pücklerstraße 34, now known as “Weltrestaurant Markthalle”, where you can still eat a delicious schnitzel.
A sepia-toned romance of life in East Berlin can be seen in the DEFA classic “Paul and Paula”. If you’d like to find out where the couple’s barge took them, head to Rummelsburger Bucht, which even has a shore named after the famous couple that offers a magnificent view of the bay.
Not a filming location in the traditional sense, but this is where the International Film Festival is held each year. In February, the biggest stars take to the red carpet as the cinemas show films from all over the globe. If you’d like to join in: visitBerlin’s Blog will be there with new stories for every day of the festival (in Germna only). Detailed information about other filming locations in Berlin can be found at visitBerlin.de