“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: http://bobnational.net/record/10859/media_id/11232 .

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!)

German Film of the Week: Fickende Fische (Do Fish Do It?)


“What does your paradise look like, then?” – “Dark. Quiet. Wet. And full of fish.”

166317This week’s film is Almut Getto’s bitter-sweet teenage romance “Do Fish Do It?”

Jan likes Shakespeare, water and fish. Nina likes roller-skates, cars and brightly dyed hair. Jan loves Nina. Nina loves Jan, but she doesn’t know that he has HIV.

Do Fish Do It? is a film about first love, the problems of growing up, the vital question if fish have sex, and the threat this love is exposed to.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE, and it is also available on the web .

You can watch the trailer here (sorry, no subtitles):

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 Popliteratur star Thomas Meinecke at Aston University

Thomas Meinecke_plattenspielerIn Germany, Thomas Meinecke is known for many things: He has been the frontman for postpunk outfit Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (FSK) for several decades already and has advocated techno music during his regular radio slot for the Bayerischer Rundfunk. For the last decade, he has also made a name for himself as a distinguished novelist. To date, 7 novels have appeared with the prestigious Suhrkamp publishing house. The recent upsurge of Popliteratur in Germany would have been impossible without his literary contributions. Last but not least, he is also regarded as Germany’s leading male feminist. Beat that!

In late October, Meinecke will be visiting Aston to take part in a number of seminars in Sociology and German. The highlight of his visit though will be our very own edition of the famous Plattenspieler events that he regularly stages in Berlin and elsewhere: Inviting a guest, he plays records on stage and discusses music and contemporary pop culture with them. At Aston, our resident pop music expert Uwe Schütte will join him, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Follow the links to find out more about our visitor:

Author profile, Suhrkamp website

Interview on Meinecke’s last novel, ‘Lookalikes’, in Die Zeit

Interview with the author on YouTube


“German Film of the Week” Is Back

Watching foreign language feature films is an enjoyable way to practice your listening skills, learn more about other cultures and be entertained at the same time.

index“German Film of the Week” recommends a new film each week, which is available to watch online, usually by providing links to movies stored on Box of Broadcasts, an online recording service that many UK universities subscribe to.
So have your popcorn ready, enjoying German cinema doesn’t get much easier than this!

We kick off with “The Wave” (Die Welle), a film based on a real-life political experiment in a school. Left-wing teacher Rainer Wenger decides to teach his class about totalitarianism in a “learning-by-doing” kind of way, which soon spirals out of control…

To get a taste of the movie, watch the trailer:

The film itself can be found 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!)


Germany at the British Museum

The British Museum is hosting the exhibition Germany: memories of a nation from 16 October 2014 to 25 January 2015. This exciting new collection will use objects intrinsically linked to German history to examine the past 600 years in the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago.

Accompanying the exhibition is a 30-part BBC Radio 4 series written and presented by Neil MacGregor which started yesterday, Monday 29 September 2014. Series producer Paul Kobrak has written a blog post about his experience of putting together the series. Click here to read his post.

Poetry-Writing Competition in conjunction with ‘Germany – Memories of a Nation’ Exhibition

placardEach of the iconic objects in the exhibition “Germany – Memories of a Nation” opening at the British Museum this autumn tells a story. The competition organised by the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) in conjunction with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) invites secondary school students, undergraduates and members of the public to bring these stories to life by writing a ‘Dinggedicht’, or poem based on one of the exhibits.

Poems of not more than 250 words may be written in English or German, and will be judged on originality, insight and presentation. Prizes range from scholarships for a summer language course in Germany to a guided tour through the exhibition on the German artist Kurt Schwitters (Merzbarn Wall) at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 14 November 2014. The winning entries in each category will be celebrated in a reading at the British Museum on 12 December 2014.

More about the ‘Dinggedicht’

Competition Website (terms and conditions, enter the competition)

For further information, contact Cecile Reese at the DAAD.