German Film of the Week: The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen)

dasletzteschweigenThis week’s film is the 2010 crime drama The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen). In the 1980s, a provincial German town is shaken by the brutal rape and murder of 11 year-old Sinikka. 23 years later, the case remains unsolved, and police officer Mittich is about to enter retirement when another girl is killed in the same way as Sinikka, on the anniversary of her disappearance. Filmed in the vein of Scandinavian Nordic Noir dramas (and starring Ulrich Thomsen, one of Denmark’s most renowned actors) this tense thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.


Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here for Box of Broadcast users. Here’s the trailer:



Viel Vergnügen!


Latest publications by Aston scholars

The following publications authored or co-edited by Uwe Schütte are now available:


Die Gegenwart erzählenFleming, Paul / Schütte, Uwe (eds) (2014). Die Gegenwart erzählen. Ulrich Peltzer und die Ästhetik des Politischen. transcript.

Ulrich Peltzer ist einer der profiliertesten und markantesten Autoren der Gegenwartsliteratur. Seine vielgelobten Romane liefern präzise Porträts einer zersplitterten Gegenwart im Kontext urbaner Räume. Mit einer Poetik radikaler Gegenwärtigkeit, die den Verästelungen post-fordistischer Prozesse im Bewusstsein der Romanfiguren nachgeht, registriert Peltzers Literatur sensibel soziale, politische und kulturelle Entwicklungen. Dieser Materialienband mit Einzelstudien internationaler Beiträger/-innen verschafft einen umfassenden Überblick über Ulrich Peltzers Werk. Ein aufschlussreiches Interview sowie eine ausführliche Bibliografie runden die Gesamtdarstellung ab.



InterventionenSchütte, Uwe (2014). Interventionen. Literaturkritik als Widerspruch bei W. G. Sebald. edition text+kritik.

G. Sebald ist einer der anerkanntesten und zugleich umstrittensten Schriftsteller der deutschen Literatur des späten 20. Jahrhunderts. Sein vielgerühmtes literarisches Werk ruht auf einem Fundament, das größtenteils kaum bekannt ist, nämlich die im Verlauf von rund 30 Jahren entstandenen kritischen Schriften. “Interventionen” bietet erstmals einen so tiefschürfenden wie umfassenden Überblick über die Literaturkritik Sebalds unter Einbezug zuvor unveröffentlichter Archivdokumente.

Uwe Schütte legt anschaulich dar, wie sich Sebalds eigenwillige Literaturkritik – von der Magisterarbeit über Carl Sternheim bis zum polemischen Essay “Luftkrieg und Literatur” – entwickelt hat. Seine Studie skizziert damit die intellektuelle Biografie des vom Allgäu in die Provinz East Anglias entlaufenen Germanisten. Vor allem aber zeichnet “Interventionen” nach, wie Sebald im kritischen Widerspruch zu Germanistik und deutscher Nachkriegsliteratur selbst zum Schriftsteller wurde.


Uwe has also co-edited a volume on German author Klaus Böldl with Aston Senior Lecturer Claudia Gremler (see earlier blog post)

Gremler, Claudia / Schütte, Uwe (eds) (2014). Raumerkundungen. Der Erzähler Klaus Böldl. Königshausen und Neumann.


German Film of the Week: Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon)

das-weisse-band-film-540x304This week’s film is Michael Haneke’s harrowing dissection of German society in the early 20th century.The White Ribbon has been aptly described by The Guardian as “a ghost story without a ghost, a whodunnit without a denouement, a historical parable without a lesson, an unforgettably disturbing and mysterious film”.

vlcsnap-2010-02-28-18h42m02s164Outwardly the story of life in a small village in pre-Nazi Germany, where strange attacks take place with the culprit remaining a mystery and the children presenting a hostile unified front against all adult investigations, The White Ribbon touches on timeless issues of social behaviour and human cruelty, whilst implicitly suggesting that this is a portrayal of the generation that would allow Hitler to rise to power.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available here  for Box of Broadcasts users.

Here’s the trailer:

Viel Vergnügen!


Aston academic Stefan Manz on “Britain’s civilian mass prison camps from World War I”

On the occasion of the centenary of the Great War, the academic blog The Conversation has published a text by Aston Reader in German Dr Stefan Manz which provides a fascinating glimpse at an aspect of Britain’s involvement in World War I which has been largely forgotten, namely the large-scale internment of citizens from Germany and the multi-ethnic Austrian and Turkish empires who either lived in or were visiting the British Isles when war broke out in 1914.



Here’s a short excerpt:

In 1914, Britain stood at the forefront of organising one of the first civilian mass internment operations of the 20th century. 30,000 civilian German, Austrian and Turkish men who had been living or travelling in Britain in the summer of that year found themselves behind barbed wire, in many cases for the whole duration of World War I. Public opinion supported this, with headlines braying: “The entire country is in the grip of the German octopus”; and “The German Jew in this country was the lowest type of Hun”.

To read the article “Forgotten: Britain’s civilian mass prison camps from World War I”, please click on this link.

Aston scholars publish first volume of literary criticism on Klaus Böldl’s works


Last year, Aston’s School of Languages and Social Sciences hosted novelist Klaus Böldl as Writer in Residence. During his stay, the author  presented his works to a variety of audiences and discussed his writings with Aston academics.

One year on, German at Aston is pleased to announce the publication of the first scholarly volume on Böldl’s works, edited by Aston lecturers Dr Claudia Gremler and Dr Uwe Schütte.


Pages from Flyer Gremler_Schütte 5384-9

German Film of the Week: Run Lola Run

462998447_1280x720 This week’s film is Tom Tykwer’s 1998 classic Lola rennt (Run Lola Run). Set in what was then recently  reunified Berlin, this fast-moving masterpiece centres on Lola who is trying to procure 100 000 deutschmarks in 20 minutes to save the life of her small-time crook boyfriend.  As she runs across town to prevent him from making his situation worse by robbing a supermarket, she encounters people and makes decisions which have an impact on the outcome of her story. But what happens when she reaches the end and doesn’t like it – can she go back and start over?

Lola rennt is an experimental film with big mainstream appeal and an intriguing homage to the city of Berlin.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and through Box of Broadcasts. Here is the trailer:

Viel Vergnügen!

“Die Nibelungen: Siegfried” showing at The Electric Cinema

Die_Nibelungen_2On Sunday 2nd November, Birmingham’s Electric Cinema is offering a rare treat:

A matinee screening of Fritz Lang’s 1924 silent movie epic Siegfried, accompanied on live piano by BBC Radio 4’s Neil Brand, the world’s leading silent movie pianist who has performed live scores for a number of classic features.

Made by the director who is famous for the hugely influential expressionist film Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s black and white cinema masterpiece Siegfried is adapted from the same myth that Wagner drew on for The Ring Cycle.

Siegfried (Paul Richter), son of King Siegmund, masters the art of forging a sword at the shop of Mime (George John). On his journey home, he hears tales of Kriemhild, the princess of Burgundy (Margarete Schoen). En route to Burgundy, Siegfried slays the dragon Fafnir, and bathes in his blood. This makes him invulnerable to attack — except for one spot on his shoulder blade which he has missed…

Click here to book tickets.


German Film of the Week: Nosferatu

Max Schreck in FW Murnau's NosferatuMade almost 100 years ago, Murnau’s unauthorised adaptation of “Dracula” effortlessly stands the test of time. It is as deliciously scary now as it was in the heyday of German Expressionist Cinema.

Using light and shadow and the characteristics of silent film to utmost effect, it is not surprising that this classic appears on many “best films of all times” lists.

Having inspired a 1979 remake by New German Cinema director Werner Herzog as well as the 2000 film “Shadow of the Vampire” this film continues to fascinate audiences and filmmakers alike.

“Nosferatu” is in the public domain and can be watched on youtube


as well as in various other places on the internet (e.g. herehere, here, and here ).

A trailer is available here .

Viel Vergnügen! (And don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the film by posting comments on our facebook page or on Twitter!)


German Film of the Week: Das Boot

das-boot-movie-title-screenThis week’s film is Wolfgang Petersen’s classic WW II drama “Das Boot” (1982).

Providing a detailed look into the claustrophobic and terrifying world of a German submarine, this Oscar-nominated film paved Petersen’s way to Hollywood, where he went on to make blockbusters such as “The Perfect Storm” and “Troy”.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and through Box of Broadcasts: .

Watch the trailer here:

Viel Vergnügen! (And don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the film by posting comments on our facebook page or on Twitter!)