Step 1/ Preparation at school
The visit should be prepared in school before you and your students go to Berlin to take part in Film Trips Berlin. The aim of our project Film Trips Berlin is to enable your students to discover famous film locations and other important places in the history of cinema in Berlin thereby seeing the city from a completely different perspective. Whilst your students are carrying out these tasks on site they will gain an insight into the function of locations and film cities in film making.
Film Trips is suitable for years 12 & 13 in conjunction with art, German and history.
Film Trips has four steps. Steps 1, 2 and 4 take place at school and can be covered in four teaching periods.
Step 3 takes place in Berlin and lasts a half day.
Step 1 (50 mins.) consists of the following elements:
1. Tell your students about the proposed trip to Berlin.
2. Hand out the Film Trips city plan.
3. Explain to your students the role of Film Trips within the trip to Berlin.
4. Explain the four steps.
5. Divide your students into groups to work on background information about German history and in particular the history of German cinema (useful links: www.imdb.com, www.kinofenster.de en www.duitslandinstituut.nl).
6. Your students should look closely at the action in the films set in Berlin: Lola rennt (1998), Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and Das Leben der Anderen (2006) (possibly in the original German soundtrack). After that they should make a list of the locations, stating whether or not these are locations of historical importance and what function these locations have today.
7. The groups exchange their results amongst each other or present them in class.
Location 1. TACHELES (ARTS CENTRE)
Address: Oranienburger Straße 54-56, U-Bahn line 6 to Oranienburger Tor
From the film: Good Bye, Lenin!
Tacheles is an artists’ collective which before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was THE place to be for young people in East Berlin, a venue for bands, an exhibition space for artists, in short a dynamic meeting place. Tacheles has since been renovated and remains an important centre for artists from all disciplines: from theatre to dance, cabaret through to film. Some of the artists can be seen working in the space behind the building where they also exhibit their works.
Location 2. KARL MARX ALLEE Address: Karl-Marx-Allee 33, U-Bahn line 5 to Schilling Straße
From the film: Das Leben der Anderen
In the former East Berlin Karl-Marx-Allee was the most important thoroughfare, where for example military parades were held. The tall blocks of flats and wide streets were designed by Russian architects in the middle of the 20th century and are similar to the broad avenues in Paris.
Location 3. OBERBAUMBRÜCKE Address: Oberbaumbrücke. U-Bahn lines 1 & 8 to Schlesisches Tor
From the film: Lola rennt
The Oberbaumbrücke is considered the most beautiful bridge in Berlin with the distinctive feature that this is where the U-Bahn crosses over the street on the double-deck bridge. One of the border posts between East and West Berlin was situated at this bridge. If you go from Kreuzberg across the bridge you can see on the left in Mühlenstraße one of the few sections of the Berlin Wall still standing.
Location 4. ALEXANDERPLATZ
Address: Alexanderplatz, U-Bahn lines 2, 5 & 8 to Alexanderplatz
From the film: The Bourne Supremacy
Alexanderplatz was named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I. In the 1960s this was the heart of East Berlin. The first thing you notice is the 365m high television tower and then the world clock in the middle of the square.
Step 2. Film screening at school
As Film Trips is directly linked to actual locations in Berlin featured in four films the students should have seen at least one of these films beforehand to enable them to carry out the tasks satisfactorily. The film Good Bye, Lenin! is the most suitable one to use for this purpose. The students can watch the other films in their own time.
For Step 2 (100 mins.) you will arrange a screening of the film Good Bye, Lenin! Tell your students to look out for the following important points:
1. Look closely at the locations in the film. Make a note of at least three of them.
2. How can you tell what period the film is set in? Make a note of at least four indications.
3. What might the director have changed in the general appearance of the street?
4. Pay close attention to the famous buildings featured in the film. Make a note of three of them.
Step 3. Tasks in Berlin
If you are travelling with your students to Berlin by coach, it may be possible to use the journey time to show a DVD. If so, we recommend the following films:
Lola rennt, The Bourne Supremacy or Das Leben der Anderen
In Step 3 you are already in Berlin. Before you and your students set off into the city we recommend the following:
1. Ensure that each student has a copy of the Film Trips city plan, a pen and paper.
2. Divide the students into small groups of 4 – 6.
3. In addition to the Film Trips city plan, each student should also have a general map for the city, including maps for the U-Bahn and S-Bahn.
4. At least one student per group should have a digital camera or mobile phone with photo facility.
5. One or two of the groups should have a digital video camera or mobile phone with video function.
6. You talk through the tasks with your students.
7. Each group selects a location which they visit themselves to carry out the tasks (see Tasks below).
8. Ensure that your students can contact you by mobile phone or agree a meeting place (e.g. Cafe Einstein, Unter den Linden or at the Television Tower).
9. After completing the tasks at the first location the students can then visit a second or even third location.
10. On returning to the hotel/youth hostel the students will work on what they have found out and talk about the digital material they have collected.
11. Try to make sure nothing is lost, that the students save their material correctly and store it separately (e.g. on a laptop provided by the school) so they will be able to work on it later when they are back at school.
Step 4. Production of a dossier in school
When you are back at school ask the students to work on their results and compile either a digital or paper dossier. Here are a few suggestions:
1. A photographic report which could be presented in exhibition form.
2. A video montage with voiceover and short excerpts from films.
Your students should be encouraged to use their own texts, photographs and/or film excerpts.
The groups will present their dossiers to each other, possibly inviting parents to attend the final presentation.
You should then assess what they have produced using the following criteria:
a) General skills:
How was the information gathered?
How was the information processed?
Is the information they have gathered correct?
Is the quality of the dossier of an acceptable standard?
How was the collected material interpreted and then used to fulfil the tasks?
How was the dossier put together?
b) Film specific skills:
What technical film terms were used?
What connections to other works of art and culture, with history and literature were produced?
What sources and materials were used to help compiling the dossier?
What digital techniques were used?
c) Group work:
Were the tasks divided equally?
How was the co-operation within the groups?
Is everyone satisfied?