The text is a mash-up of references to House of Cards, Batman, and The Princess Bride, with a touch of Sense & Sensibility.
It’s sunny, it’s hot today in Berlin. My mood for ice-cream and refreshing adventures, like being at the sea or on a boat on a lake, is stronger than ever. But being dead broke and jetting off to beautiful fishing villages and palm tree-lined beaches, let alone boating trips in Brandenburg, are not an option for the image of the starving artist in this day and age.
And hence, in order to find some acceptable shade and pleasantry, some needed escape from heat and realism, a movie theater will have to do. I venture off to the closest cinema, featuring tasty ice-cream for my body, heart, and soul.
The Curtain Rises
The lights go off, the show begins. Not with ads telling you how great Berlin is after all and after all those years but with an intro that sets things right and you in your place. Grandfather clears his throat and in a slow and deeply soothing voice relates to you the story of Batman and Robin, the princess bride.
The Adventures of Batman & Robin, The Princess Bride
In front of you and right and left, the remains of Gotham City stand erect. The Joker’s last attack leaves your heart broken and cityscapes in ruins, resulting in fragmental objects and objectifications of the human kind (2). The Batmobile looks like your childhood tricycle when you took it for a spin years past your toddler times. Nowhere near safe for taking your lover for a ride, let alone venturing off to save precious lives (1). But luckily, you made Hollywood and all its members rich – and as we know, all can be fixed with the right amount of numbers on your cheque. That doesn’t just count for the car but also Batman’s self-esteem (4) and while the camera follows his every step, from Batmobile to cape and back (3), we are allowed an unasked glimpse of just how low this man’s hood has sunken (4).
All the while, like Rapunzel in her tower, Robin, the princess bride, has been waiting patiently… for the bat to come and move on. But Robin is not stupid and has always played her cards well. No tech and science talk can divert her from her most important goal (6): to get the bat as husband by her side, since Kevin is no longer a trustworthy candidate (7). Looking barbie and making her way acceptable through your escapist fantasy has done the trick so far (5). Cause who needs all that knowledge when you can be a trophy wife (7)? For Brandon’s rich and Marianne’s handsome and had you wonder all that time ago. To get things going faster, Batman secures some extra hands, has them do their magic tricks and set the power couple free to go (2). Dressed to impress like it’s Met season (8), Robin and Batman take you to the highest circles of US society. A smile, a grin, a fairy tale later, and Patty is good to go home (9). One life saved and they move on. Escaping L.A.’s smog and dirt, the gentrified hellhole once called home (10), the Batmobile takes off once more while we hear the Joker laughing hoarsely at their cowardly escape (11). From L.A. to D.C., sickness is a sign of weakness, and health of wealth (13), but since the dawn of Robin’s predecessors’ machinery, covering up ailing tracks has been a thing and top concern (12). Serving others and keeping up her duties makes Robin lose on her own secret battleground, as does seeing Batman changing sides, venturing off to darker spheres and Joker’s land (15).
And in a final scene, Robin makes her move out of her whitewashed house, joining Batman for a last duet (15), while don’t ask don’t tell is still in your ears and Kevin’s mouth (14).
The curtain closes, the lights go on. My eyes adjust to brightness and you, hopefully, to what you’ve just been told.
Words by Angela Kaisers
Angela Kaisers studied Fine Arts with emphasis in photography in San Francisco and Amsterdam (B.F.A, Gerrit Rietveld Academie) and Art in Context in Berlin (M.A., University of the Arts Berlin). In her artworks, Angela reflects on people’s behavior within structures of power and in situations of emotional conflict. Her work has been shown in Berlin, San Francisco and throughout Europe (e.g. Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid); she has curated exhibitions in Berlin and Budapest. Angela lives and works in Berlin.