Where are they all going?

Jupiter is a planet. And a god. As well as being one of the the German film industry’s most important awards cerememonies. Marathon is a city. And, in Berlin as in some other major cities, it is also a major sporting event. But the only place in the world you will find Jupiter Marathon is on Karl Marx Allee.

Powermind - photocase.de
image courtesy of Powermind / photocase.de

While sitting at my desk at Strausberger Platz, my eyes are drawn to a red carpet that I can see from my window. The carpet of choice for stars and starlets has been rolled out in front of Café Moskau for this year’s Jupiter Awards. There are stars everywhere – there is even a miniature Sputnik spaceship “floating” over Café Moskau. The original Russian satellite was launched into space way back in 1957 and the copy now hanging above Café Moskau has also seen better days; I’m sure it’s wings aren’t really meant to droop as limply as they do now. But underneath the satellite, Jupiter is making a much better job of extending his wings. The advance guard: young people, fans, who started pitching up at three in the afternoon with their rucksacks and flasks , eager to grab the best spots around the red carpet.

The film enthusiasts are happy to make do with the the best that the German creative industries have to offer: a procession of directors and actors, including major players such as Til Schweiger and Jeanette Hain, make their way along the red carpet in the early evening as the awards ceremony gets underway. Not everything revolves exclusively around German film – Hollywood glamor also plays a part. Keira Knightly, delivering a live message, lights up the silver screen. But glamor is just as much at home on Karl-Marx-Allee without the stars of Beverly Hills. Although … Thomas Gottschalk, as blond as Sigfried, and a previous recipent of a Jupiter Award, was once to be seen living it up alongside Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2. Whether the film was ever shown at Kino International, which is just outside the window from where this year’s excited Jupiter guests have gathered, is a mystery. The comedy’s premiere was way back in 1993, just three years after the Wall came down.

elke - photocase.de
image courtesy of elke / photocase.de

East Berlin and Karl-Marx-Allee were playing catch up at the time, not least as far as western lifestyles were concerned. Kino International may have aligned its program to suit more western tastes, but it is not clear whether Hollywood distributors such as Walt Disney even had East Germany’s former showcase cinema on their radar in the early 1990s.

Nowadays, the latest Hollywood blockbusters are part of the regular program at Kino International, surely one of (if not the most) beautiful cinemas in Berlin.

Timmitom - photocase.de
image courtesy of Timmitom / photocase.de

But anyway, one thing the stars at the Jupiter Awards don’t have to do is sweat. Which isn’t something that can be said for those taking part in the second of the major events along Karl-Marx-Allee last week, an event that provided me with quite a different view from my desk. And it wasn’t just the view that was different. Suddenly everything was still. Nothing. Not a single car speeding along the six lanes outside my apartment window at Strausberger Platz. To be totally honest: the first time this happened, I just couldn’t deal with the absolute quiet. Background noise, especially when I have my windows open, is simply part and parcel of living here. And then, there is complete silence. The Berlin Half-Marathon is not just the biggest event of its kind in Germany, it is also the most international and highest quality. As the route was being prepared, Karl-Marx-Allee, all the way from Strausberger Platz to Alexander Platz, was completely closed off to vehicles. Whether you’re a runner, motorist or cyclist – all roads lead to Strausberger Platz!

Marathonläufer in Berlin
image courtesy of lumen-digital /photocase.de

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