Bond in Motion – London Film Museum

I am at Covent Garden at the Royal Opera House checking if there is any ballet performances on. I am too early apparently, the season starts straight after I fly out. I remember the Film Museum is close by so head there.

The Bond in Motion exhibition is on which has many of the original Bond film cars on display, those that didnt get trashed in the pursuit of an audience adrenaline rush that is.

Its a relatively peaceful museum off Wellington Street. Inside the door is a life size mannikin of Sean Connory in a svelte 60s suit, so you know you are in the right place.

I dont really know the full back catalogue of films, but fortunately, Jens from Hamburg, a holiday maker does.

He becomes my unofficial tour guide. Highlights include the Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace. One side of the car is gone and what remains is scraped and bullet sprayed.

Jens is mad for the retro Lotus Espirit S1 which had to plunge off a pier in Sardinia in the 1977 in the making of  The spy who loved me. Budgets were modest then. They only had one car for the shoot, so when they needed another, the Lotus chairman lent the production his.

Unlike the making of Spectre which had eight especially made Aston Martin DB10s to trash on 007’s tense chase through Rome, tailed by baddie Hinx in a Jaguar C-X75.

There are lots of motor bikes, a Bell Jet Pack, film excerpts, guns, watches and even Bond passports to see too. The exhibition finishes as it should with a classic clip of Sean Connery at the wheel mid-car chase.


Run Susan Run

In my last days in Berlin, I am reminded of the Franka Potenta movie, in English it was called Run Lola Run, auf Deutsch, Lola rennt. I am often running now, trying to fit everything in. There is so much left to see and do. And of course there are my daily German language classes at the Goethe Institut, my primary objective.

I have absolutely loved the course. The teacher, Dieter, has a tireless, animated way of getting through to all of us. The context of the lessons are always set within interesting subjects, such as German arts, culture, film. And we are encouraged to work together in groups to problem solve our exercises.

Sometimes I don’t know where he gets his patience from. I am still grappling with the akkusativ, dativ cases etc. I have spent far more time in museums and been out late to concerts and performances, than staying in, working on my grammar.

I have been totally seduced by Berlin. Its a shame there is not a GI exam for Berlin arts and culture, as I have taken every opportunity to experience the richness of this utterly amazing city. And there is so much more I will just have to leave for a return visit, which I am already planning. Hopefully at a pace more relaxed than this has been.


Berlin Staatsballett Caravaggio

Ballet’s my thing, so I am delighted when the Goethe Institut organises a group together to see Caravaggio, a contemporary piece based on the Italian painter’s tumultuous life (1571 – 1610). The work is choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti, with music by Bruno Moretti, inspired by composer Claudio Monteverdi. It was first staged in 2008.

It is danced by the artistic director and famous soloist Vladimir Malakhov. The first act is the ritual entrance of the protagonists, and the necessary corps de ballet ensemble dances. The audience head out to the bar after the first act less than animated, and its only in the second act that we become riveted by the tension in the pas de deux and the extraordinary lengths the sinuous bodies of the dancers are pushed to. Even a male colleague from the school next to me, a new recruit to ballet, stops wriggling and sighing and sits up to attention.

Walking back to the UBahn station, thinking on the athleticism of the dancers, I realise the closest I have come to exercise in my stay in Berlin, has been carrying around a Bikram Yoga flyer in my bag for the past weeks.