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A night as long as a lifetime

London, 1977. The whole country is on the move. It is not only the political situation, but also hostile youth groups that add to the taut atmosphere in the UK. Terry, Ray and Leon are right in the middle of it all. They’re young, hungry for life and all working for London’s most popular music magazine. The reader lives through a single night with the trio, the night that Elvis dies and that changes the world for a whole generation. It isn’t just politics and the music scene that changes, the night steers the lives of all three friends in a new direction. Ray, the youngest of the group, grew up in a desolate working class neighbourhood. He can’t rely on his family to support him and tries to make it on his own. With a mother stricken by depression and an alcoholic father, he struggles with finding his place in the world and tries to find something to hold on to. His friend Leon, on the other hand, tries to escape the overbearing expectations …

The woman in gold

Monday evening. Five to eight. Yawning void in the cinema hall and a film that, by the sound of it, could be anything: “Woman in Gold”. An epic three hour long historical drama? A detective story? Or maybe the sequel to the mediocre horror flick “Woman in Black”? Luckily, it is none of the above. At the turn of the 20th century, Austrian painter Gustav Klimt created an iconic masterpiece: The woman in gold. Officially named “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, the painting was commissioned by Adele’s husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy industrialist and lover of the arts. It was greatly admired by family and visitors until the Nazis invaded Austria in 1938 and began disowning Jewish families like the Bloch-Bauers of all their properties. Decades later, the Austrian government decides to return artworks that have been stolen by the Nazis to their rightful owners. Maria Altmann, one of the last remaining members of the Bloch-Bauer family, has made a new life for herself in Los Angeles and wants nothing to do with the country …

German people casually crack nuts with their butts and spit at each other on live TV

Have you ever seen four people trying to fit their heads into a single bathing cap, someone telling the colour of pencils by licking them and a guy extinguishing candles with his tears, and all that in one place and within the course of three hours? No? Welcome to the world of German TV. To be fair, I am talking about a very special German TV show – this is not the norm. But I am also talking about Germany’s most popular TV show – it is actually referred to as ‘the biggest TV show in all Europe’. I am talking about ‘Wetten, dass…?’ Here’s the facts: It has been running for over 30 years. It has an average of 20 million viewers (which is 25% of the whole population of Germany). From Bud Spencer to Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, basically every famous person has been a guest on the show at least once. Robbie Williams was there 12 times! And it is a show about grown up people cracking nuts with their butts …