Statue of Charlemagne on the Alte Brücke

Some stuff from the city:
Yesterday the statue of Charlemagne was put back onto the Alte Brücke (old bridge).
Its a replica of the original one which is now in the historic museum and was on the bridge untill 1914 when the bridge was modernized and extendet. So after over 100 years the statue of the legendary frankish emperor is back in his old place. Almost. Originally he was on the west side of the bridge, faceing east, now he is on the east side facing west. Anyway, I think things like this are very important for our city. It is a piece of identity. People need this as an anchor in the interesting times we live in.
Same goes for the reconstruction of the historiccity center between city hall and cathedral just a few meters away from the bridge.

The first buildings will be finished soon and it is an interesting mix of historic reconstructions and modern reinterpretations of historic buildings. Sure it can´t replace the historic city center of Frankfurt, this is lost forever in the fire storm of world war 2, but it gives a glimpse of what is lost while not ignoring the present and future. I think this balance is very important.
In April I documented the empty Zeilgallerie shopping mall.
Now it is in the process of being demolished. The roof and the top floors have allready been dismantled. A shame, the building that will replace it will be a dreadfully boring departmentstore block.

Aardman Animation Exibition at the German Film Museum Frankfurt

Last Sunday I was at the exposition about the british Aardman Animation Studio in the German Film Museum here in Frank furt. It was really interesting and I highly recommend it to anyone if you are in the city.
Masks used in the "Angry Kid" shorts.

Claymation models of the main character from "The Morph Files".


Early concept sketches of Wallace (who was named Jerry in this early version) and Gromit.

The rocket from "Wallace & Gromit - A Grand Day Out"

Sheeeeeeeeep

This seems familiar...

Lovely production sketch from "Wallace & Gromit - Curse of the Were-rabbit".

Claymations models for Lady Tottington from "Curse of the Were-rabbit". I love the vegetable themed dresses.

Claymation model of Lord Victor Quartermaine, the main antagonist from "Curse of the Were-Rabbit".

Claymation models of Rocky and Ginger, the two main characters from "Chicken Run".

Claymation model of the evil penguin from "Wallace and Gromit - The Wrong Trousers"

Claymation models from the short "Wat´s Pig".

Sketch fror a painting in Lady Tottingtons manor in "Curse of the Were-Rabbit".

THe "Were-Rabbit" and how its made.

Fowler in his quarters from "Chicken Run".

A model building used in "Curse of the Were-Rabbit".

A classice Wallace & Gromit scene.

The forklift from the short "Wallace and Gromit - A Matter Of Loaf and Death" I love the oven mitts. Details like that is what gives these films their whimsy charme.

Charles Darvin in his cabin from "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!"

Gromit in his green house, from "Curse of the Were-Rabbit".
The exibition is still in the Film Museum untill January.

Older

Had my 36th birthday last friday. Not much to say here. I get older and older and this fucking world gets mora nd more nightmareish.

Update

Haven´t posted anything in over two months.
I´m still alive, but was basically in robot mode. Work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep, work eat, sleep and repeat.
So, what happend? Great Britain comitted national suicide, the Brexit (god I hate that word, its so goddam stupid), was a foolish decision that will haunt the Britons for years to come. It was a vote of old bitter racists fucking up the future of their children and grand children. It will take the UK decades to recover from the fall out, if ever, since it isn´t even clear if the UK will exist in its current form in a few years since Scotland and Northern Ireland clearly voted to remain in the EU and consider leaving the UK. So whats the fallout for us here in Germany, Frankfurt in particular? For one Germany is now the single dominat power in the EU. The UK was always something like the counterweight of Germany in Europe. Its of historical irony that the UK, 70 years after W2, is handing Germany ultimate power in Europe on a silver platter ( even more ironic, something we don´t even want anymore). Frankfurt will be one of the great winners of that mess. Estimated 10,000 foinance jobs will move from London to Frankfurt, srenghting its position as Europes financial capital. A con is that it will put more pressure on the allready strained housing market in Frankfurt. The rents are allready too high and there are not enough apartments even thou there are thousands constructed each year.
The Euro 2016 in France came, we droppedout in the semifinal again. I don´t even give a flying fuck about the final tonight. Forget about it.
I promise I will try to do more in the future, also to get me out of that shitty rut my crap job is putting me into.

500 years bavarian (german) purity law

Today was the anniversary of the bavarian (later german) beer purity law, one of the columns of our civilisation. this document that was signed on April 23rd 1516 by William IV, Duke of Bavaria, and states that the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops and water. It is said that it the oldest still active food law of the world, which is only partialy true, since there have been older regulation, especially when it comes to beer. However, this law is inportant since it was originally to prevent brewers from adulteration beers with all sorts of funky ingrediences, today it serves mostly as a seal of quality for german beer. In celebration of this anniversary there was an anniversary box sold with several fine beers from small bavarian brewreries.

This is how the box was sold.
A peek inside.






In the box where seven different beers from small to medium sized bavarian breweries, from the kellerbier via bayerisches Helles (bavarian lager) to wheat beer. I love all of the different lables.
There is also a beer glass in the box. Nice, you can never have enough of those.
And finally a copy of the purity law. I think I´ll frame it and hang it somewhere into my kitchen, that looks probably cool.
All in all a cool box and a toast to the german purity law!
Well said, Homer, well said.

Shin-Godjira trailer

Toho just released the trailer for their new Godzilla movie, their first one after more than a decade, and, damn, we do get a good look at a gnarly, dark king of monsters:
That looks like some serious, grimm movie. In some way itis reminicent in the very dark, almost depressing first Godzilla movie from 1954. I think there is a reason for that. The first movie was released just 9 years after the end of WW2, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This new movie is released five years after Fukushima. Godzilla is again the avatar of nuclear devastation. Over the years, when the memory of the nuclear attacks on Japan grew dimmer, the Godzilla movies and the creature itself became less serious and more and more cartoonish. Godzilla was not a thread anymore, he was even at some point the heroic protector of Japan and earth. Toho tried to bring back a more serious, darker tone with Godzilla 1985, but in the end the goofyness prevailed. Untill now that is. This new Godzilla is 100% unadulterated radioactive horror. He looks wonderfully dreadfull with his mutated, scarred, burned, glowing appearance, he looks like he is in constant agony, as he should be, a tortured angry animal turned force of nature by the abuse of nuclear energy. This Godzilla is scary and pityfull at the same time. The trailer also shows that Hideki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame is co-director of this movie. While it did lack the pointless and overblown judeo-christian symbolism (aside from the choral chanting maybe), the style of the action sequences are definitively similar, down to Annos obvious fetish for military hardware. All in all, onto my watchlist this movie goes. It will definitively been screened at some movie festival (Fantasy Film Fest or Nippon Connection) here at some point.

First Trailer for Rogue One!

I´m still in a bit of a Star Wars high from Force Awagens and the amazing season 2 finale of Rebels, but I get a new fix before I can get down. Yesterday the first trailer of "Rogue One - A Star Wars story"

Its the first spin off movie. It will be about the ragtag band of rebels that stole the plans for the first death star, the very plans that were the MacGuffin in the first movie. This trailer is again how a trailer should be, it makes you curious without telling too much about the story. What I got from it so far is:
- The heroine is a scroundrel and she is captured by the rebels, hey they are in the temple base on Javin IV!
- Mon Mothma. My god the actress that plays her now looks EXACTLY like the original one. I wonder if they helped with CGI here.
The main girl wearing a hijab and kicking imperal ass on a desert planet (probably Tatooine)
- Installing the laser dish of the goddamn death star! That short segment left me breathless. The star destroyers give a good sense of the massive dimensions.
- Who is the imperial officer with the white uniform and the cape? A grand admiral? Also Royal guards.
- Forrest Whitaker appears to be a cyborg or in a heavy power armour.
- Original stormtroopers and new ones in black armour. They appear to be some kind of elite unit.
- A lot of running in what looks like an imperial subway station.
- A space shaolin taking on stormtroopers.
- The rebels fighting AT-ATs on what appers to be a tropical beach planet.
- Ther heroine in a imperial armour (could be a tie fighter flight suit or thearmour of one of the new elite storm troopers), appearntly infiltrating an imperial base of maybe even the death star itself.
All in all, VERY promising!

Dead Mall

Ah, the Zeilgallerie shopping mall.
Opened in 1992, build by real estate investor Dr. Jürgen Schneider, who was later in jail for fraud, swindeling millions of D-Mark from major german banks Like Deutsche Bank. The Zeilgallerie was a major attraction in downtown Frankfurt, with its, at the time, futuristic architecture, the cool shops (Frankfurts first internet cafe was here in the mid-1990, complete with nausea inducing Virtual Reality stations) and last but not least the amazing view from the observation plattform on top. After the first years the downward spiral began, the main problem was the architecture, the concept was that you take the escalator to the top (8th floor) and then walk all the way down in a spiral. Most people hated that, so they mostly went to the stores in the lower floors which left the stores pretty much above the third floor empty (In the first years there was a WOM record store near the top, that attracted people, but when it closed it got quite worse). The installation of downward escalators and the opening of an IMAX cinema in the top floor (Which was later replaced by a cinemagnum 3D-Cinema and later by a regular movie theater) didn´t help as much as a remodeling of the building around 2010. The opening of the MyZeil shopping mall next door wqas pretty much the dead blow for the Zeilgallerie. Now it is pretty much empty and will be demolished soon to make space for an extension of the Kaufhof department store next door and several other stores. Its a bit of a shame, since it was a cool building and I have some great memories of it from my teenage days. So take a last tour of the place with me:
Viev from the Zeil corner Liebfrauenstraße. It really is a cool example of early 1990s architecture.



The interious have completely been painted white in the latest renovation, the colums used to be dark red and the overall colour combination was more of dark red, blue and dark grey. The floors are still original, those small glass tiles in the floor used to have a blue illumination in the beginning, which looked very cool.
A closed down place that sold bubble tea and waffles.
More closed shops, you can see the slope the walkway has while spiraling downwards.
The roof near the top. That escalator was allready out of order btw.
The large space on the left side of the top floor. In the first years there was a large chinese restaurant, the last tennant was the Samsung Flagship store which moved just across the street a few months ago.
Looking down from the top floor.
The bar on the right side of the top floor had an amazing view over the city.
The entrance to the cinema near the top.

Looking down. You can see how tall the building is, also those glass elevators were amazing.
In the shop in the left side was a Concert and sports ticket place that was one of the few tennants that was in the building from the beginning to the bitter end. Now they are next door in the MyZeil mall.
Architectural detail of the deconstrutivist glass facade.
"Das shoppt" - "That is shopping" Not anymore.
More dead retail. Almost all of the shops moved to different locations.
"Closed" The former United Colors of Benetton Store which was one of the anchor tennants of the mall.
A look into the former H&M, the other anchor in the lower floor (despte the fact theat there are two other fucking H&Ms on the Zeil...).
No more games.
The information touchscreens at the entrance, out of order forever.
One of the two glass elevator cabins in the basement.
The former Pizza Hut in the besament. Orginially a fountain was where those steps on the left side were, but it was replaced early. Also in the basement was an entrance to the Kaufhof department store next door.

Looking up from the basement.
As far as I know, demolishion will start sometime in April, so if you want to see the place for a last tome be fast!

Craft Beer Festival

Tonday there was a craft beer festival at the mensa of the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Of couse I went there and took a look.
Entrance price was 10.-€ also 5.-€ deposit for a beer glass, most of the beers inside did cost 1.-€ thou, so it was okay.

In the entrance hall of the mensa.
Steamworks is a craft brewery from canada, I get to them later.
Thats a great name for a craft brewery.
In the outside area there were several food trucks, offering some stuff to eat.. Remember kids, never drink on an empty stomache!
I don´t know why, but that lone bloody skinhead standing in line for a kebap was damn hilarious to me.


I ate a socalled "Sloppy Joe", I heard about that dish before, it was pertty good actually, even thou it was basically a thick sauce bolognese on a bun.

I just love the names "Beer Nerd", "Prancing Pony brewery", "Hopwork Orange"...

First beer of the evening: The Triple A by Kraftbierwerkstatt. Nice amber colour, good smell. Taste was nice too, very strong and hoppy.

Next up was the "Backbone Splitter IPA" by Hanscraft. Nice colour, VERY hoppy. I didn´t really like the aftertaste. Then again I´m not the biggest fan of IPAs. The Backbone tab was cool tho.
The burrito truck in an old VW camperbus looks pretty sweet.


Next I ate an Arancino. Thats a sicillian speciality, a filled deep fried rice ball. I took the variant filled with mozarella and beef ragu. Very delish.

Next was a light beer by BRLO, just to calm my taste buds. Very refreshing. Also, I love their slogan: "Save the planet! Its the only one with beer."


Now the last one was very unusual. Its the "KIller Cucumber Ale" by Steamworks. Nice yellow colour that goes just a tint into greenish. Taste was refreshing and did actually have a slight hint of cucumber! Weird but not bad!
After that unusal beer I decided to call it a day and go home.
I hope they actually make that a regular event.

Zootopia

Or Zoomania in Germany (Zootropolis in some other countries). Some spoilers may be ahead. Saw it last week and loved the movie! First of all I love just how beautyfull that movie is. The character designs, the love for details like the tiny little movements and gestures that made the characters really feel alive. The chemistry the two main characters Judy Hopps (a naive but enthusastic rookie cop rabbit) and Nick Wilde (a cynical, smug but deep inside kindhearted Fox con artist) had, was absolutely perfect and beautifull. Also the world building was in incredible. A problem many animated movies have is that the setting is merely somekind of stage, here is was different, with Zootopia you had the feel that you caught a glimpse of a functioning, living, breathing world, a world in which, aside from the story we follow, millions of other stories unfold, a world that you want to explore and learn about more. The reference jokes were sparce but on the point like the godfather scene or the Breaking Bad reference near the end. A world not without problems too, I liked how the conflict in the story reflected current problems in our world, like xenoophobia, racism, sexism and intolerance without being preachy about it. The -isms were adressed without getting it like "Okay, these animals represent refugees, there represent white people, these represent women and so on", the animals in this world had their own predijuces, like prey against predators, bunnies are cute and thus incapable of being tough, foxes are dishonest and can´t be trusted, all that helped to make the movie feel more alive. Another message is that you CAN succeed in making your dreams come true against the odds, but you have to work hard for it. I was actually surprised how dark the movie got at times, Nicks flashback of the scout meeting was downright cruel and mortifying. At times its not really a movie for children, funny animals aside. Seriously, if you expect just another silly movie with funny cute animals, be warned, it turns into furry Lethal Weapon quick.
I give the movie 11 paws out of 10. And I really hope we will see a continiuation in a way (A sequel? Maybe a TV show?).