For nearly forty years, actor Ulrich Tukur has been appearing in television and films. And in that time, he has not allowed himself to be pigeonholed. He has starred in dramatic films retelling important moments of history, clever comedies, and everywhere in between. So this month, let’s get to know the award-winning actor Ulrich Tukur and learn German with film!
Before the days of streaming all day every day, television offered a special connection with its audience. Whereas films are an occasional commitment of a couple of hours, television shows are a weekly part of life. The characters and settings become personal. And with tv shows set in Munich and across Bavaria, you truly get to experience the region in a new way.
You can be entertained with a humorous take on everyday life or become immersed in a local crime series. There are options for whatever strikes your fancy.
If you speak German, the options are seemingly endless. But thanks to today’s connected world, many streaming services offer English language subtitles for shows.
In the early 2000s, the German music scene was seeing an exciting new wave of pop music. What makes the music from this time so special — especially for us language learners — is that this movement was dominated by German-language pop music. The female-fronted quartet Juli is one of the most popular of these German pop groups.
What makes Juli so much fun is that their music is easily accessible but with a bit of an alternative twist that is kind of catchy and perfect to sing along to. So this month, let’s get to know Juli while learning German!
If you’re a fan of German cinema or the art house scene of the 1970s, then you’re likely already familiar with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The German director, writer, and actor is considered to be an important figure in the New German Cinema movement that took place from the 1960s until the 1980s.
The Criterion Collection has honored a number of his films. The works are typically low budget, filmed quickly, and full of gritty realism along with commentary on society. Although Fassbinder died in 1982 at the age of 37, he made an astonishing 40 full-length films.
This month, let’s better get to know Rainer Werner Fassbinder and practice the German language at the same time.
That is right: I am talking about movies filmed in Munich and around the state of Bavaria. You can fill an afternoon with a romantic comedy or learn something new with a historical drama. There are options for whatever strikes your fancy, although the options are more limited if you do not speak German.
If you want to experience Bavaria without seeing a film that is set in the German state, keep reading! I have some honorable mentions that might surprise you.
So, go ahead, grab a Bavarian Bier (or your favorite beverage) plus some popcorn, and check out these movies filmed in Munich (and Bavaria)!
If you prefer television shows to movies, check out these TV shows set in Munich and Bavaria.
These two gentlemen, known together as Gloria, may look familiar to you. One is a known primarily as a member of the band Wir sind Helden, with whom he made four studio albums. The other is a well-known television moderator known for his talk shows and humorous gags. In 2013, Mark Tavassol (the musician) and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf (the television moderator) released their debut self-titled album as Gloria.
Regardless of what you might expect, given the backgrounds of the two men, the resulting music is extremely successful. They have made carefully constructed pop music with strong, driving melodies into their trademark.
So let’s get to know the duo better and practice your language skills with their music. This month, let’s learn German with Gloria!
If you are not yet familiar with German filmmaker Fatih Akin, then now is the time. One of my favorite directors, Akin continues to wow filmgoers with films that range from dramas touching on political, societal, and cultural issues, fun comedies, and even a documentary with an international flair.
So this month, practice German with films and get to know Fatih Akin with his movies Gegen die Wand, Crossing The Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul, and Soul Kitchen!
It is easy to write off bands with light melodies and poppy tunes as not serious. But to make that judgment of Von Wegen Lisbeth would be all wrong. In their more than a decade together, the quintet from Berlin has evolved from what seemed like a straightforward indie-pop band into one offering something far more considered. This month, learn German with the upbeat and energetic tunes of Von Wegen Lisbeth.
You may not know it, but you probably are already familiar with German actor Daniel Brühl. He has been quietly but consistently working and gaining experience with stellar role after stellar role in film and television projects.
Most recently he’s made a bit of a cross-over into the English language Hollywood market.
Perhaps you know him as Fredrick Zoller, the Nazi war hero, in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds or as Austrian F1 race car driver Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush — for which he earned himself an Oscar nomination — or as Julian Assange’s business partner Daniel Domscheit-Berg in The Fifth Estate.
Daniel Brühl has made some enjoyable and thought-provoking films in German that are definitely worth seeing!
So this month, let’s get to know this talented actor for three of his many German-language roles. Practice your German skills with Daniel Brühl and the films Good Bye, Lenin!, Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, and Der ganz große Traum!
In the mid-1980s, even people living in the United States, England, and other English-speaking Western countries knew Nena. The petite German singer re-recorded her 1983 hit “99 Luftballons” in English as 1984’s “99 Red Balloons.” With the translated track she had an international hit on her hands that introduced her outside of the German language music world.
The Neue Deutsche Welle was making waves around the world. Literally, the “New German Wave,” was a genre of German music with roots in punk and rock that started in the late ’70s and early ’80s. With her charming pop appeal and German lyrics, German language learners can practice and get rocking with Nena.
Whether he is gracing the big screen or your television screen, Stipe Erceg can be difficult to miss. With his gaunt and chiseled features surrounding deep-set eyes, the actor is memorable before he has even spoken a word. You may already know Erceg for his roles in English language thrillers such as Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger, or The Fourth State, starring Moritz Bleibtreu.
But Stipe Erceg made his mark on (and in!) German cinema with roles in such films as The Edukators, Baader Meinhof Complex and Hell. This month, I am featuring actor Stipe Erceg as the German language film recommendations for German language learners.
Udo Lindenberg first came to my attention thanks to Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre. I’ve read many of the books and writings of the author/journalist and if there’s one thing he loves, it’s Udo Lindenberg. He is a devoted fan and eventually became a close friend of the musician who left a mark on his childhood that never left.
With more than forty years in music and dozens (literally) of albums under his belt, Udo Lindenberg is a great musician you should get to know. Although his unique vocals can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for German language learners, don’t let it discourage you. Lindenberg’s music is fun and classic.
So, without further ado, let’s learn German with the music of Udo Lindenberg!