Photo by Walter Crasshole
The 25th Jubilee of the Teddy Awards was last night and Tempelhof was aglow with lush colors of pink, purple and blue – making a gay black-eye over the former Nazi landing point. And imagination was obviously on the menu as the whole event was "airport"-themed. As pompous as the event was supposed to be, it's real low points of bad taste were on stage.
The biggest low point was all over the night though: über-Aryan hostess, Annette Gerlach, a cultural presenter with Arte TV. Her command of German presentation is impeccable and maybe that's why she was so annoying. The overly timed and excited shrieks in response to what the other presenters were saying almost drowned out the great moments. Every time she emptily exclaimed "UND DAS FREUT UNS!" or "Eine sehr wichtige politische Aussage!", you could feel the collective spine chill in the room. The robotic over-excitement made it evident that she knew what to say but not why she was saying it. That's not too mention having to stare at her for the two-and-a-half hour event. In the words of my friend Chantal, of Chantal's House of Shame: "And my GOD, that HAIR!"
While she cast the requisite tackiness over the ceremony, that isn't to say that the awards themselves weren't exciting. The performances were hit and miss, but that's to be expected. At least The Hidden Cameras were well chosen and added some actual Berlin edge to the ceremony although one has to suspect that they were offered a good amount of money to participate (their show at the party afterwards was superb, if under attended, and included blindfolds and nearly-nude boys with face paint gyrating in juxtaposition to their gay-folk-church music).
The recipient of the Special Teddy Award, Pieter-Dirk Uys and his alter-ego Evita Bezuidenhout, was an especially amusing surprise for me – I had never heard of him/her before. The "most famous white woman in South Africa" was politically astute and impeccably funny. One might think she's the South African Dame Edna, but she's much sharper than that. And she's an example of how gay mainstream icons should age.
And we shouldn't forget among all the glitter that this is primarily about film itself. And the winners were well-selected. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the best film to win was Marie Losier's (see our interview with Losier) The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, took home the Teddy for Best Documentary - with Losier and Genesis (see our interview with Genesis) taking the stage to receive the bronze König statuette. (Genesis takes the stage at HAU2 tonight with Tony Conrad and Morrison Edley.)
The party afterward (not an afterparty) was, for me, a dreadful experience (with the exception of The Hidden Cameras) but then again, I always maintain that unless you're Nick Cave, men in suits SHOULD NOT dance.