Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Settling into a different Munich

How can Munich be different after my absence of just three months? It was understandable that I should see a huge transformation when I re-discovered Abu Dhabi after thirty-six months. And, no, the fabric of the Bavarian capital has not changed.

But I think my attitude to the city is a different one.

The welcome at the airport... my daughter's unanticipated trip to Munich to greet me... was of course a delightful push in the direction of being more open to emotionality than I was before. Looking back I feel that before I was living on the edge of Munich life, without too much engagement and concentrating on just getting by, keeping a profile which could hardly be lower, staying resolutely in my quartier.

In my first post after getting back I added a video which was a lyrical portrayal of Paris. I thought when I posted it that my pretext was a bit thin!

However, for the past couple of days Paris was in fact very present in Munich, or rather the wonderful Parisienne who I have known since the mid-seventies and who is my daughter's godmother was here.

But had known Bernd Eichinger for much, much longer. And she came to Munich to attend the memorial service for Germany's best known and most influential film producer. 

I shall not identify her, since she is a very private person,  but on Monday evening she invited us, my ex and myself, for drinks. And the venue needed imperatively to be one where she had often spent time with Bernd... somehow a very fitting way of dealing with the loss of a very close friend.

The conversation was long and intense. Not in any way backward looking, on the contrary. And for me it was like once again being in a stimulating Paris salon. It reminded me that I could probably benefit by approaching the next phase of my life in Munich with more boldness, verve and intellectual curiosity.

Our long evening also brought the discovery of a very pleasant bar I had not previously visited. The Mandarin Oriental is a very welcoming hotel and firmed my resolve to venture from time to time outside the 'village' which is Schwabing to discover more of a different Munich.

I think Bernd... for whom I worked for only a year in the early eighties and whom I would not claim to have known well... would approve!


nzm said...

Welcome back to Munich.

I must share these videos with you. Watch this one first:

and then watch how they made it:

Macthomson said...

Thanks for the tips, nzm! Some comments after viewing the clips...

1. I have an abhorrence of footage which is more dark than light. And it's not just because an old man's eyes are strained. It's a prejudice I have always had, for some reason!
2. Frankly I thought the HDR effect was a shame, giving the imagery the look of video game scenery. The few un-processed shots of this amazing building in the 'making of' were for me more eloquent.

Intersting for me was the fact that 'temple' is a relatively rare designation for Protestant houses of worship. I feel that the term most often applies to buuldings which have an arean feel, as opposed to the traditional nave-and-transept form. The church in Dallas, Texas, where my father was minister had the arena configuration and was called City Temple.

Again, thanks for the tip. And I look forward to seeing what you're doing with your 5D in video.