German rapper Cro certainly isn’t the first musician to have a gimmick. His just happens to be a panda mask that covers the top half of his face, obscuring his identity. It features an upside-down cross drawn on the mask between the eyes.
Who is Cro, really? While you may ask that about any celebrity or public figure, it is especially relevant when learning about this music star. With no official private identity, we have only the information he provides in song as insight.
But while Cro might be considered a rapper, his music is positively poppy. Since the release of Raop, his debut full-length, in 2012, the young musician has been a star of the German music scene scooping up awards and topping the music charts.
Martina Gedeck is an acclaimed actress who is well respected and has dozens of awards to her name. Gedeck’s trademark is not being pigeonholed: she’s appeared in comedies, dramas, and everywhere in between. And she is known for major roles in German films including The Lives of Others and The Baader Meinhof Complex. If you are not already familiar with Martina Gedeck, now is most definitely the time to become familiar with this talented actress.
This month’s German film recommendations for practicing your German skills are Jew Suss: Rise and Fall (Jud Süss – Film ohne Gewissen), The Elementary Particles (Elementarteilchen) and Mostly Martha (Bella Martha).
If you are reading this post, then you are probably already pretty aware of how challenging it can be to learn a new language. So, as a German learner, you can empathize with and be wildly impressed by the rapper Casper. Raised in America, he moved to Germany at the age of 11 when his parents split up. And despite having a German mother, his German-language knowledge was practically non-existent. Today, Casper is one of Germany’s most popular rappers. Like I said, impressive — right?
Let’s use his journey and his successes as motivation set to a fantastic soundtrack. This month, learn German with the music of Casper!
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.
While it certainly is not as fun as being there in person, you can immerse yourself in all that Munich and Bavaria have to offer from your sofa. Or wherever you prefer to watch!
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)!
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!