Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blind date

"Piste Perdu", DR Denmark
A blind date at the ski lift, arranged by a friend: Mia is to meet Martin, no expert skier but an off-slope party king. Martin learns that Mia's sister is undergoing psychiatric treatment, and Mia recognizes him as the man who had raped her sister. Mia makes Martin go down a steep hill, where he darts into a rock, and leaves him there, injured and helpless. "Piste Perdu" (DR Denmark) is one out of ten pieces of a whole "blind dates" series. Short, sparing, and sardonic.

Saving Fats Domino

"Category 5: How I Rescued Fats Domino
From Hurricane Katrina", SRF Switzerland
When the hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the R'n'B and rock'n'roll legend Fats Domino was reported missing and believed dead. A few days later he turned up safe and sound. So much for the facts.

"Category 5: How I Rescued Fats Domino From Hurricane Katrina" ("Category 5: Wie ich Fats Domino aus dem Hurrikan Katrina rettete", SRF) tells the fictional story of Dudeck, a hyped up German hypochondriac who makes it his end-of-life mission to find the Fat Man in the flooded city. A trip from comedy to slapstick and back.

From Russia with suspense

A dead body lies on the floor of a well-respected publishing house, and soon after the police have started investigating, crime scene photos leak out to the internet. They show a decisive detail: an office pass protruding from the dead man's pocket, and the deputy director's hand secretly removing it. "From Heaven to Earth" (Radio Russia): From Russia with suspense.

Forbidden love

1941. Reykjavík is occupied by British troops. "The Situation" (RÚV, Iceland) tells the story of the 16-year old Gudrún falling in love with Bob, a 18-year old soldier, despite Icelandic laws forbidding youths any contact with the foreigners. As Gudrún's and Bob's love persists bad luck is closing in on her.

Doom

"Air", RBB/ARD
Human beings, believed to be creation's crowning glory, are about to dig their own grave. Pollution destroys the earth.

German art students took the four elements earth, fire, water and air, to which they added a fifth, ice. They created five short scenarios of a planet in terminal disorder. "Air" ("Luft", RBB/ARD) takes us to the abandoned zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Few people live here, a couple of militia men and old people waiting to die in their run down farm houses. Maria, pregnant and bleeding, asks Corvin, the young doctor, to help her give birth to her child. The child, of course, is dead.

Abyss

"Foreign Bodies", Polish Radio
Poland in the 1980s. Adam and his friends are fighting for freedom of speech, against the communist regime. Thirty years later, Adam has become Eva, discriminated for her transsexuality, avoided even by her own son. "Foreign Bodies" (Polish Radio) is a blow-by-blow tale of one life, two genders, and the abyss of loneliness.

Day five: Radio fiction

"Hans Flesch": Memorial plate in the Haus des Rundfunks.
"Hans Flesch" is one of the names on the memorial plate in the main hall of the Haus des Rundfunks. Hans Flesch, one of Germany's broadcasting pioneers, produced and aired the first piece of German radio fiction on October 24, 1924. "Zauberei auf dem Sender" can still be listened to (new staging by the Hessischer Rundfunk 1962, mp3). A perfect day for listening to its descendants. Day five: Radio fiction.

Insights II

What does it look like when 1000 European journalists and producers meet, view and listen to each others programmes in order to passionately discuss them? The Berlin-based photographer Julia Zimmermann tells us.