German Film of the Week: Gegen die Wand

gegen_die_wandThis week’s film is Fatih Akin’s award-winning Gegen die Wand, a powerful story of love, obsession and self-destruction set in  the Turkish-German community.

When Cahit reluctantly agrees to enter into a marriage of convenience with Sibel who is desperate to escape the control of her strict Turkish parents, he doesn’t expect to fall in love with her and he doesn’t anticipate the tragic course of events his feelings for his ‘wife’ will trigger.

Set in Hamburg and Istanbul, Akin once again captures the hopes, dreams and struggles of people living in modern multi-cultural societies.

Aston students can access the film through our VLE. It is available to Box of Broadcasts subscribers here.

Trailer:  httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRioyPHCSVo

Viel Vergnügen!

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Aston Writer in Residence publishes new collection of poetry

Heinrich Detering, our DAAD Writer in Residence in 2014, has just published his new collection of poetry.

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Wundertiere not just includes a number of poems that he worked on during his time at Aston, in some cases discussing them with students during the various workshops he delivered.

His visit to the second city left its undeniable  traces in the volume as it also features a fine poem entitled “Birmingham”.

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On W.G. Sebald’s Radicalism

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Our resident Sebald expert Uwe Schütte has just published an online essay entitled On W.G. Sebald’s Radicalism. The essay deals with the political side of the writer and academic who served as Uwe’s PhD supervisor.

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The essay, which is also available in Spanish, appeared in the Sebaldiana blog that accompanies the current major Sebald Variations  exhibition  at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.

 

 

Uwe Schütte on Ian Curtis “So This Is Permanence”

Our colleague Uwe Schütte has published a comprehensive review essay on So This Is Permanence, a beautiful collection of handwritten song lyrics and notes by the late Ian Curtis. The singer of Manchester band Joy Division committed suicide aged 23, at the eve of the his band’s first tour of the USA. You can listen to a Spotify playlist of Joy Division’s music here.

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Uwe’s piece appeared as the cover story of the leading German-language literature magazine “Volltext” and you can read an excerpt here.

Andreas Spechtl, DAAD Songwriter in Residence

Spechtl 2For the first time, we  invited to Aston not a Writer but a Songwriter in Residence. Andreas Spechtl, singer and songwriter of the Berlin-based, Austrian band Ja, Panik will be in Birmingham from 20 April. His band is recognised as one of the foremost German-language indie bands. They won acclaim in particular for their last two albums “DMD KIU LDT” and “Libertatia”, the latter winning the Album des Jahres Award of the leading music magazine SPEX. The highlight of his stay will be a free  solo concert in the city centre. More news on this after Easter. Spechtl was invited by our resident pop music expert Uwe Schütte and his stay is sponsored by the DAAD  and the Goethe Institut, London.

German Film of the Week: Sonnenallee

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Less than 10 years after the East German state ceased to exist, we started to miss it. Ostalgie, a nostalgia for the East and for everyday life under Socialism, is a much discussed phenomenon which sprang up in the 1990s when East Germans increasingly felt they had been taken over by the West and memories of the East were being devalued. 2260745,yp+T7PMY5lKvdiJRNP2232rRcIxVh8A_S7N9IsWuz4QEwaEPZZrjpU+rJbihmueTTpJCTKIusJ0qmDEDRKo4WA==This resulted in an identity crisis for the generation which had grown up behind the Wall, and people started organising “East parties” and celebrating their “Easterness” with the consumption of regional products and re-introduced Eastern brands. Made in 1999, Sonnenallee is a hilarious comedy which takes the desire to reassert an East German identity to the big screen, simultaneously mocking and mourning the GDR.

Aston students can access the film through Blackboard. It is also available online here and  here.

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js9DphJ8JXU

Viel Vergnügen – and apologies for the poor quality of the subtitles!

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Annual German Quiz at Aston University

Like every year, Aston University and the University of Birmingham are once again hosting a German Quiz night where students – and staff! – from both institutions can test their knowledge of all things German-speaking. This year, the event is hosted at Aston campus and the winners will be awarded fantastic prizes from our sponsors.

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German Film of the Week: Goodbye Lenin

200_sThis week’s film is Wolfgang Becker’s classic Goodbye Lenin, which provides a comic take on the rapid transformation process that East Germany underwent when it joined the Federal Republic following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

When Christiane wakes up from a months-long coma and has to avoid all forms of excitement to prevent a relapse, her son Alex is faced with the challenge of hiding the changes that have taken place and recreating the GDR for her – complete with locally produced pickles and fake East German news.

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

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJb4efZcFUM

Viel Vergnügen!