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The Berlinale Blog: Lounges

Don't get Ben wrong, he likes lounges as much as the next man. But the Berlinale is one big orgy of cubic cushions, cappuccino and beanbags.

The Berlinale is full of lounges. There’s the MAXX lounge, in the Cinemaxx – which has changed colour scheme since last year, opting for that striking puke green/grey that works so well in old people’s homes. There’s a small, creatively-named W-LAN Lounge for journos in the Berlinale Palast. You’ll be glad to hear it is a windowless, uncomfortable place with no refreshment, and much too small to accommodate more than 20 of the 4,000 lonely scribblers that are apparently here. It’s like an over-heated waiting room in an abandoned airport, and the MacBook cables make it quite difficult to negotiate. I’m sure the fire department would have some safety concerns, were it not for the fact that it is reserved for the press.

There’s also the Golden Bear Lounge, which is sponsored by BMW. I think it is the nicest one, but I can’t tell, because my unbathed self is not allowed in. I once peered past the security man and saw a beautiful woman in a cocktail dress glide through some velvet curtains with a tray of vol-au-vents. I am pretty certain she was going to hand it to a film-star in need of refreshment during a BMW-sponsored group-sex session.

But I do love the lounges I am allowed to lounge in. It’s really a shame they show so many films at the Berlinale, because that often means you have to get up from a cubic, puke-green sofa and relinquish your snacks and internet access for at least 90 minutes. What they should really do is show the films on screens in the lounges, like in a gym, except without all those annoying exercise machines. That would be ideal. Or they could turn all the cinemas into giant lounges filled with snack machines, enormous stuffed bears and iPads so you can check your email and play Bumper Ball during the boring bits. Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.