German novelists on the fall of the Berlin wall: It was a source of energy we lived off for years

Five German novelists recall the heady days of 30 years ago, and assess their legacy Heike Geissler: For the first few years, I fell into every single consumer trap put in my way Heike Geissler was born in 1977 in Riesa in the former German Democratic Republic. She is the author of four novels, most recently Red Love: The Story of an East German Family, won the European Book prize. Germans like anniversaries; they give such a clear shape to history. At these times you can simplify complicated things a bit, smooth out the contradictions. The GDR, which repeatedly comes back to life on these dates, long ago became a kind of museum country. These days hardly anybody wants to …

So alien! So other!: how western TV gets Japanese culture wrong

From travelogues to Banzai, theres a history of portraying the country as kooky and odd saying more about its makers than its subject It just feels so alien! So other! So extraordinarily strange! So said Sue Perkins as she walked across Tokyos most crowded zebra crossing in the opening sequence of her travelogue. But shouldnt this all be more familiar by now? After all, BBC Ones Japan With Sue Perkins, which aired last month, was only the latest in a long run of British TV programmes inviting us to boggle at the east Asian country. These shows always feature a shot of the aforementioned Shibuya Crossing, items on AI and sumo wrestling, and a concerned interview with an undersexed young …

Former Yugoslavia’s brutalist beauty a photo essay

Socialist Yugoslavia reconstructed a land destroyed by fighting with concrete to show the power of a state between eastern and western power Genex Tower is unmissable on the highway from Belgrade airport to the centre of the city. Its two soaring blocks, connected by an aerial bridge and topped with a long-closed rotating restaurant resembling a space capsule, are such an unusual sight, the 1977-build tower has become a magnet for tourists despite years of neglect. The tower is one of the most significant examples of brutalism an architectural style popular in the 1950s and 1960s, based on crude, block-like forms cast from concrete. Serbia. Brutalism was popular throughout the eastern bloc but the former Yugoslavia made it its own …

The Last Black Man in San Francisco review moving tale of racial gentrification

A quirky approach gives Joe Talbots fact-based drama the feel of a fable You dont get to hate it unless you love it, says third-generation San Franciscan Jimmie (Jimmie Fails). Hes on a bus, quietly incensed as a pair of yuppies (one played by Thora Birch) declare that the city is over. This Sundance award-winning film, written and directed by Joe Talbot and based on his friend Failss Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

Arizona home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright before his death sells for $1.7m

Midcentury home, the last designed before the architects death, is nestled on the edge of a mountain preserve An Arizona house that was the last home designed by Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

New York’s Strand bookstore fights back over landmark status

Nancy Bass Wyden, the third-generation owner of the building and the business, warns its new landmark status could destroy the popular store In its 92-year history, the Strand, a New York institution and one of the worlds largest independent bookstores, has endured everything from the Great Depression to the explosion of Amazon. It is a cruel irony, then, that having survived against the odds, the latest potential threat to the third-generation family business comes from an organisation whose purpose is supposed to be to protect. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) announced in June that it had granted the Strands home an 11-storey building between Manhattans Greenwich and East Villages landmark status, despite vocal opposition from its owner who warned it …

Fortnite Chapter 2 is live with new map, weapons and more

Its back on! Out of the black hole, a whole new world begins, bringing fresh characters, weapons and maybe a redesigned progress system It begins. In familiar Fortnite fashion, the first news of the games future arrived throughout Monday night, not via official channels, but via the army of celebrity YouTubers and specialist leak accounts spread across social media. Rumours suggested the game may launch at any point in the next few hours. Then we got the cinematic trailer for what will be known as Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 1, showing four new characters arriving at dawn on a brand new island, featuring a beach area and gloop-spewing power plant. At the close of the trailer, the battle bus arrives, …

Pillow Talk to Bonnie and Clyde: the greatest Wayne Fitzgerald main titles

The esteemed designer, who died this week, left behind a career of work on some of Hollywoods biggest and most-loved films This Monday marked the death of main title designer Wayne Fitzgerald at the age of 89. One of the great movie and television craftsmen of the past half century, if you dont recognize Fitzgerald by name, youre probably still familiar with his body of work, which included a filmography boasting more than 450 credits and which earned him three Emmys over the course of his career. Alongside the likes of Saul and Elaine Bass, Dan Peri and Pablo Ferro, Fitzgerald turned the craft of title design so often taken for granted into an art form unto itself. The full …

Giorgio Armani: ‘Japan always keeps its soul’

The fashion supremo on how a simple table sparked his love for Japanese design I loved how spare those tables looked, the restraint and grace. What I find so particularly interesting is the sense of calm that pervades all things Japanese. On top of that, I am struck by how in Japan modernity mingles seamlessly with history. The Japanese manage to convey the sense that they are able to look both backwards to tradition and forwards to the unknown future with equal ease. This is quite a cultural accomplishment. In 1981 my interest for the Japanese aesthetic, fuelled by a steady diet of Kurosawa, of old and new, went full-blown in one of my most iconic collections an epic commercial …

Jonathan Van Ness on being HIV positive: ‘It gave me a reason to really fight’

The charismatic star of hit TV show Queer Eye had a troubled and chaotic early life. Here, for the first time, he talks about his journey back from the brink and his life with the virus The words smoky lavender appear twice in Over the Top, a memoir by Queer Eye, the hyperventilating makeover show in which he stars. The first time it is used to describe the skin colour of a gun-toting meth addict he encounters during a stint as a sex worker in Tucson. The second to describe the colour of the thigh-high boots worn by the hair stylist at a salon he lands at in Los Angeles in 2008. He is 19. Later, First Wives Club, a …

Zaha Hadids massive starfish airport opens in Beijing

Daxing international, said to be worlds largest single-building terminal, to handle 72m passengers China has opened a vast, multibillion-dollar airport in the countrys capital, in the run-up to a major political anniversary. Less than five years after construction began, the 450bn yuan (50bn) Daxing international airport was officially opened on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping. China is preparing to celebrate its National Day on 1 October, marking 70 years since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, against the backdrop of unrest in Hong Kong and a flagging economy. People attending the launch ceremony for the new Beijing Daxing international airport in Beijing. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images The new mega-airport, the second in Beijing, …

Its a beacon for the city: inside the new New York library that cost $40m to build

The project earned criticism for its price tag, but it is being seen as a positive sign for the health of New York libraries Strategically positioned on the bank of the East River, across the water from the United Nations headquarters, New York city has a shimmering new addition to its skylines. Unusually for such prime real estate set among parkland, panoramic views of Manhattan and convenient transport links, this $40m development in Queens is neither an upscale apartment block, exclusive members club or the offices of a huge corporation. In fact, it is the site of the citys newest public library. Built from aluminium-painted exposed concrete that sparkles in the light and featuring two huge freeform cutouts for windows, …

Downton Abbey, like plantation houses, delivers fantasy over brute reality | Michael Henry Adams

The American south may seem a long way from the estates of England, but in both places a veil of caprice covers harsh truths The son of a Scottish immigrant who worked as a servant, Donald Trump could hardly wait for his banquet at Buckingham Palace. A seat next to Elizabeth II conferred a sense of accomplishment little else could. To many, such behavior from an American president Gone With the Wind, I saw plantation houses for which I thought I could sell my soul. It seemed such an alluring way of life. No wonder people visit Savannah or Charleston. They, like me, have imagined themselves in the masters place. No work to be done, fanned on white-pillared porches, sipping …

My daughter was raised during the siege of Aleppo. I had to make a film for her

For Sama, a new documentary from award winning Syrian journalist Waad al-Kateab has won global acclaim The camera focuses on Samas face. She is the sweetest baby and looks, at first glance, as though her life might be ordinary. Her eyes are a transitory newborn colour, greyish green, waiting to turn brown. Her gold earrings look over-large in her tiny ears. Sama means sky in Arabic a sky, as her mother imagines it, where no bombs fall, with ordinary clouds and sunshine. So far, this is footage that could be the work of any doting parent, but Samas mother is journalist Waad al-Kateab and this is her documentary For Sama, filmed during the Syrian war. In the film al-Kateab sings …

‘Troubles tourism’: should Derry be celebrating its political murals?

Fifty years since the Battle of the Bogside, some fear the new status of Derrys murals as a tourist attraction will stop the community overcoming the past One of the first things you see as you enter Bogside is a 20ft mural of a 12-year-old boy, wearing a gas mask and clutching a petrol bomb. Painted on the side of a social housing property, its a stark reminder of the violence that tore Derry apart during NI Tourism report puts political murals as the eighth most visited attraction in the entire country. The neighbouring Museum of Free Derry, which tells the story of Bloody Sunday, attracted 35,000 visitors in 2018. According to the tourist board, all coach tours to the …

A world of walls: the brutish power of man-made barriers

Trumps border wall isnt unique. From Calais to Hungary, walls are always with us The latest atrocity in El Paso, when an avowed white supremacist drove for 10 hours to a supermarket used by Latino families in order to murder and maim, was explicitly motivated by Trumps baleful, anti-immigrant rhetoric. He was also a big fan of Trumps wall, which Trump himself has rhapsodically described as an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. Yet despite its Ozymandian ambition, the beautiful wall has stuttered and stumbled, still more frenzied rallying cry than bricks and mortar reality. Geography and logistics quietly conspire against it Americas border with Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long, for a start. Incendiary talk of spiralling …