German Film of the Week: The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher)

2007_the_counterfeiters_007The most recent German language Academy Award Winner (2008) has everything you would expect: an excellent cast, a gripping storyline – and lots of Nazis. Based on historical facts, Die Fälscher is Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky’s account of Nazi Germany’s attempt to defeat the Allies economically by flooding the money market with forged British pound notes, which were produced by expert counterfeiters held in a concentration camp and under constant threat of execution.

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 24

 


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German Film of the Week: Auf der anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven)

vmwm5987The destinies of six characters are bound together by fate in this gripping and moving feature from acclaimed Turkish-German director Fatih Akin. The story begins as widower Ali seeks out companionship with the prostitute Yeter, setting in motion a chain of events that will link three families across different cultures, countries and generations. Skilfully constructed and brilliantly played by an outstanding cast, The Edge of Heaven (2007) is an ambitious and compelling tale of tragedy, betrayal, persecution and redemption.

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 23

 


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German Film of the Week: Funny Games

w964In Michael Haneke’s disturbing 1997 masterpiece, a middle class family arriving at their remote lakeside holiday home are alarmed by the unexpected arrival of two young men who soon begin to subject them to a twisted and horrifying ordeal of terror. The unforgettable original version of Haneke’s classic exploration of screen violence is an uncompromising, sometimes uncomfortable but never less than compelling experience. With characteristic mastery, Haneke turns the conventions of the thriller genre upside down and directly challenges the expectations of his audience, forcing viewers to question the complacency with which they receive images of casual violence in contemporary cinema.

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 22


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German Film of the Week: The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)

Released less than 10 years ago, this Oscar winning film about the workings of the Stasi, East Germany’s secret service, has already become an international modern classic.

In the former East Germany, no-one was above suspicion. People and relationships were monitored obsessively. The story of The Lives Of Others unfolds mostly through the eyes of a secret service agent who’s been given the task of spying on an artistic couple who’ve attracted the attention of the Minister of Culture. Little by little, he’s drawn into their lives even as we’re drawn into his; and as he loses his faith in the government, he must decide whether or not to try to hide the transgressions of those he’s watching.

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 21

You can watch the trailer here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnWknkXg_fM

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‚Helau‘ and ‚Alaaf‘

11.11.13-Köln-1024x679

A little while ago a lot of superheroes, vampires, clowns, princesses, animals and many many more unusual sightings were reported in Germany. The phenomenon was especially prominent in Düsseldorf, Mainz and Köln. What was all of this about?

Germany celebrated Karneval or, as it is also called, Fasching. The Rosenmontagszug is the culmination of this celebration. People dress up and roam the streets, chanting ‘Helau’ or ‘Alaaf’. In many cities a parade takes place with lots of different floats depicting fictional characters , a persiflage of a political, economic or sports person/theme or representing a society. In between you can see traditional music bands marching. The last wagon is usually mounted by the Prinz who often is a known celebrity or politician. A lot of people wear costumes and celebrate while watching the parade. It is customary for caramel sweets to be thrown, as well as promotional gifts. That’s why it is not uncommon to see some people holding an umbrella upside-down in order to catch the thrown candy.

But where does Karneval actually come from? It is a Christian, mostly catholic, tradition that is meant to celebrate the time before the Fastenzeit. This is a time when people fast in order to cleanse their soul while awaiting Easter, which marks the resurrection of Jesus. In some region,s the Fastenzeit starts on the 6th of January because of the Heilige drei Könige but in other areas it starts earlier, on the 11th of November at 11:11 a.m. The latter is due to the fact that some people also fast for some time before Christmas. Karneval is a celebration right before the fasting time since all the food and drinks that weren’t suitable for the Fastenzeit had to be used up in advance. If you ever have the chance, don’t miss out on paying a visit to Germany while this event is taking place. It is definitely worth a trip!

German Film of the Week: The Nasty Girl (Das schreckliche Mädchen)

A bright Bavarian girl, Sonja (Lena Stolze), quickly becomes unpopular when she attempts to research an essay entitled ‘My Town in the Third Reich’. The reprisals against her family force her to drop her project, but years later the adult Sonja decides to try again. Michael Verhoeven directs this look at modern German hypocrisy, based on the true story of Anja Rosmus.

The film is accessible on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 20

You can watch the trailer here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FFU4dwhMqA

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 20

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German Film of the Week: Crazy

Crazy is about good friends and falling in love, making music and breaking all the rules, longing and loneliness – about growing into adulthood, deciding for yourself and believing that the future will be just fine. 16-year-old Benni is sent by his parents to a boarding school. It′s his fifth school, and his parents are praying that he will finally overcome his math deficiency and graduate. For Benni, life isn′t about math… it′s about dealing with his typical teenage insecurities, which are compounded by the fact that he is partially handicapped. Although Benni doesn′t end up learning much about math, he learns a whole lot about life.

Based on Benjamin Lebert’s best-selling debut novel.

The film is accessible to Aston students on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 19

You can watch the trailer here:

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Aston Writer In Residence, Heinrich Detering, Reads From His Works

We are proud to be hosting Heinrich Detering as Writer in Residence.

Since his arrival last week, Heinrich has been running various poetry workshops with our students.  On Tuesday, he presented some of his works at a public reading, which included translations from our Translation studies students. Here is a brief glimpse of his performance:

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German Film of the Week: The Bader Meinhof Complex

This is a dramatisation of the inner workings of 1970s radically left-wing German terrorist group The Red Army Faction (RAF). Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck and Johanna Wokalek star as Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof and Gudrun Ensslin, the trio at the core of the organisation, which carried out bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations throughout the late 1960s and 70s in a misguided attempt to redress the wrongs of the Nazi generation. Bruno Ganz co-stars as Horst Herold, the head of the German police who must gain an understanding into the young terrorists’ reasoning even as he hunts them down.

The film is accessible on Blackboard under LSS Undergraduate Information > German > German films to watch online > German Film of Week > week 18

You can watch the trailer here:

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German Film of the Week: M by Fritz Lang

 

Made over 70 years ago, Fritz Lang’s master piece about the hunt for a child-murderer has lost none of its appeal. Starring the young Peter Lorre in one of his best ever performances, this psychological thriller still captivates audiences today. M features striking cinematography, which influenced the American film noirand being Lang’s first “talkie”, it makes innovative use of sound.

This is a public domain film and is available online. Simply click on one of these links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM0w1dTNAH0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O_ldOK3dDE

https://archive.org/details/PhantasmagoriaTheater-MFritzLang1931574

You can watch the trailer here:

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