Whether you watch English language films or German language, longtime actor Jürgen Prochnow probably looks familiar. He has been a dictator in 1997’s Air Force One, the bad guy in 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II, and as a duke in 1984’s Dune. But Prochnow is an accomplished and respected actor in his home country, too. He has had starring roles in important and memorable German language roles.
So this month let’s learn German with the films of actor Jürgen Prochnow (Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, Das Boot, Der Bulle und das Mädchen)!
When you think about Germany, German humor is maybe not the first thing that springs to mind for most people. Generally, people think perhaps of fast cars or good beer. But comedy? No way. Nein danke. In fact, many would go so far as to say the Germans do not even have a sense of humor. And that is obviously not true. When it comes to comedy, I think Germany is vastly underrated and underappreciated. That is why I am highlighting thirteen German comedians to help disprove the stereotype. German humor does exist!
For someone trying to learn the language, comedy is also a great way to practice and learn about the culture, too. And just like with German-language music or films, there is something for everyone. The list includes German stand-up comedians, satirists, cabaret artists, and impressionists, among others whose German humor you can experience in the German language. Prepare to have your funny bone tickled.
For those of us who are not quite fluent in the German language, sometimes you need a good challenge. It is like a good kick in the pants, so to speak. Vienna, Austria’s Voodoo Jürgens is just that challenge.
In the days before this digital world in which we live, music fans had to decipher lyrics from liner notes. We would pour over the backs of record sleeves or the booklets inside of CDs. Today, you can generally do a simple web search to find out the text to a song.
I mention all of this because Voodoo Jürgens sings in a Viennese dialect (Wienerisch) of the German language. If you study standard German, or Hochdeutsch, Voodoo’s tunes can be a little challenging, to say the least. But with infectious melodies, confident delivery, and compelling storytelling, the challenge is completely worth it. (At least I think so!)
So this month, let’s take on that challenge and learn German with the music of Voodoo Jürgens!
It is difficult to think of a German actor who has more of a toehold on Hollywood than Til Schweiger. His English-language credits include Inglorious Basterds, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Muppets Most Wanted, King Arthur, and SLC Punk!. Conquering Hollywood isn’t a battle that Schweiger needs to fight. Back home in the German-speaking world, Schweiger is a bonafide movie star who also writes, directs, and produces. He does it all.
Wikipedia names him as “one of Germany’s most successful filmmakers.” And Schweiger has even drafted his children into the family business, so to speak, by giving them roles in several of his movies. Til Schweiger has become so popular in Germany because his films are likable and crowd-pleasing. What better way to practice German? So this month, let’s get to know Til Schweiger and practice German with a few of his films!
Watching some of the best German movies is a great way to educate yourself and learn the German language or simply to enjoy some entertainment. These films will thrill you, make you laugh, make you cry, and leave you wanting more. Some are light and some are more serious. And with today’s easy access to streaming services, you can watch German movies on Netflix from your sofa with your partner or from bed in your pajamas with your dog. I have pulled together 25 of the best German movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video that you can watch right now. So what are you waiting for? Start the popcorn and clear your schedule. And don’t forget this is educational. Mostly!
And after you’ve watched all of these German movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, check out my list of the best German television shows you can stream online!
For German language learners, it has never been easier to practice your listening skills. With any number of streaming video services, you can watch German TV shows. There are quite a few German series on Netflix that you can choose from and most are Original Series that you will not be able to find elsewhere. But whether you are looking to practice your German language skills or you just want to be entertained (or maybe a little of both!), I have pulled together twenty great German shows that you can stream right now.
Many of the German language films I feature here each month are from either starring a specific actor or the creation of a specific director or screenwriter. It is less common that an individual takes on more than one role. It seems like people pick a side and focus on honing their skills there. This month, however, I am highlighting one of those people with talent in a variety of fields. Jan-Ole Gerster’s career began with directing and while that remains his main focus, he is also a screenwriter and, occasionally, an actor. So this month, let us learn German with the films of filmmaker Jan-Ole Gerster!
Not unlike their German language music colleagues Rammstein, language does not limit the appeal of Die Toten Hosen. In the German-speaking world, they are major rock stars and they are pretty well known in the rest of the world, too. For nearly 40 years the quintet from Düsseldorf has won rock and punk fans over with their catchy tunes. Their lyrics range from the socially and politically aware to the mundane observations on everyday life. This month, let’s rock out and learn the German language with the music of Die Toten Hosen!
Bavarian-born actor Maximilian Brückner seems to have portrayed every role imaginable. He has brought to life everything from seemingly radical theologians to closeted athletes fighting bigotry. Whether it is classical drama or comedy, Brückner’s talent knows no boundaries or limits. So this month, let us learn German with the films of actor Maximilian Brückner!
In recent years, Austrian rockers have become all the rage outside of their native country. But long before the likes of Bilderbuch, Wanda or Voodoo Jürgens, der Nino aus Wien was making quite the impact with his German music with a touch of his Viennese dialect (Wienerlied). With his knack for carefully crafting songs and his straightforward delivery, Nino’s music is the kind you turn on and put on repeat. At times it is somber, others it is fun and catchy. Part of his appeal is his casual, everyman approach. Half the time, he appears seemingly bored on stage while performing. But then he opens his mouth or strums his guitar. But it is always worth hearing. So this month, get to know der Nino aus Wien and learn German with music.
While the last name of Bousdoukos may throw you off, make no mistake about it: Adam Bousdoukos is a German actor through and through. Since making his acting debut in the mid-90s, Bousdoukos has chalked up more than 50 acting credits to his name. He has appeared on screens both big and small in roles both dramatic and comedic. So this month, let’s learn German with films starring actor Adam Bousdoukos!
With a flashy stage show and intentionally provoking lyrics, Rammstein is famous the world over with their hard rock and metal music. The leather-wearing, fire-spitting performances are nearly as notable as their lyrics, which are often dark and violent. Despite that, Rammstein thrill fans with hard-hitting guitar riffs and equally hard-hitting rhythms. So this month, let’s learn German with the heavy metal music of Rammstein!