For decades, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke has been shocking film audiences with his controversial and award-winning films. Often dark and psychological, Haneke’s films are thrilling and dramatic. While Haneke’s films are frequently in English and French, many of Haneke’s other films are in the German language. This month, let’s learn German using the films of Michael Haneke!
Since the mid-1970s, Munich-born director Dominik Graf has been working in film and television. And for his body of work, Graf has been nominated for countless awards both in Germany and internationally. From wildly popular German television shows like Tatort to Beloved Sisters, the German entry for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards, Graf is an accomplished director with a variety of works under his belt. This month, let’s practice German with the films of director Dominik Graf!
Actress Katharina Schüttler may look familiar to viewers of Channel 4’s The Promise. The British television series from 2011 featured the German actress alongside Claire Foy, before she went on to portray Queen Elizabeth II. But, lucky for us German language learners, Schüttler has a lengthy German language filmography. So, this month let’s queue up three films starring Katharina Schüttler that will give us a chance to practice German language!
If actor Alexander Fehling’s face looks familiar, it isn’t all too surprising. The young German actor has appeared in several notable English language productions. He portrayed Master Sgt. Wilhelm in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Jonas Hollander in season five on the television show Homeland. But Fehling also has an award-winning career with his German language roles in film, television and on the stage. So this month, let’s practice German with the films of actor Alexander Fehling!
By the time he passed away in 2015, Helmut Dietl had made a name for himself in the German language film industry that would make many envious. He had written and directed dozens of films and television series. Dietl had been given countless awards, including being recognized with multiple lifetime achievement awards. Bavaria has recognized him with its highest honor, the Order of Merit. So this month, let’s learn German with the films of famed director and writer Helmut Dietl.
Volker Bruch has been in The Reader as well as internationally acclaimed German television series like Babylon Berlin and Generation War. You will soon be able to see Bruch in the Hollywood remake of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, David Lagercrantz’s fourth installment of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. Bruch is an actor that chooses interesting roles with a lot of variety. This month let’s practice German with the films of German actor Volker Bruch.
Although he has been working in the German film and television industry for years, actor Kida Khodr Ramadan is probably best known for his recent award-winning performance on the television series 4 Blocks. The show has proven that Germany, too, can produce high-quality and thrilling television that you’ll gleefully binge watch.
This month, let’s practice German with the films of actress Hannah Herzsprung. The actress got her start in television as a teenager. Since then she’s gone on to appear in mainstream German language films alongside big names, such as Til Schweiger in Schutzengel. You may have seen her in The Reader, where she portrays the daughter of Michael, the lead character. Let’s get to know Hannah Herzsprung better and learn German with film! I’m highlighting three of Herzsprung’s films: Vier Minuten, Traumfrauen, and Lila, Lila.
Starting in the early 1960s until the 1980s, Germany experienced a surge in the country’s film movement. The New German Cinema, as it is called, included such notable names as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Volker Schlöndorff. Included in that illustrious and influential group is Margarethe von Trotta. She has been described as Germany’s leading female filmmaker. Trotta has a unique perspective when compared to her male counterparts. She uses her films to highlight the stories of strong women, often in political scenarios, to the big screen. Let’s learn German with the works of filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta.
West Berlin-born Lars Eidinger is an artist in the truest sense of the word. He is perhaps first and foremost known for his work as a television and film actor. But he’s also a theater actor who has extensive experience with the works of Shakespeare, as well as a musician and a DJ. He can even border on a performance artist. Just this past fall he released I’ll Break Ya Legg, a compilation of his songs from 1998-2016. But this month I want to focus on Eidinger’s acting work. Let’s practice German with the film and television works of Lars Eidinger.
Although still only in his twenties, German actor Jonas Nay caught the attention of the English-speaking world with, ironically, his role in Deutschland 83, a German-language television show developed internationally. Despite his youth, Nay’s got a number of acting credits to his name, many in television. This month, let’s practice German with the film and television works of Jonas Nay.