How can I find these? Are other movies available?
1. The Askwith Media Library is on the 2nd floor of the UGLi. If you're a University of Michigan student, you can check movies out and watch them at home (perhaps with friends or a date).
2. This list is just a rather arbitrary, "mainstream" selection from the hundreds of German DVDs available at Askwith. Click here to see an older Word document with a more intellectually oriented, annotated selection compiled by Lecturers and GSIs in the German department.
3. To see the entire collection of German movies at Askwith:
- go to MIRLYN
- choose "Advanced Search"
- write "German" in the "Word(s) anywhere" box
- choose "German" from the "Language" menu
- choose "Visual Materials (all)" from the "Format" pull-down menu
- choose "Askwith Media Library" from the "Location" pull-down menu
- click "Search"!
More info about this list.
- All of the films listed should have German subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
- All of the DVDs should play on American DVD players. If you find that this is not the case for a movie from this list, please email Hartmut!
- Click on the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) or Amazon links next to each title to find plot summaries, reviews, user comments, etc.
|Dramas||Second World War and the Holocaust|
|Comedies and Romantic Comedies||Action/Adventure/Mystery/Crime/Horror|
|Classics (Pre-World-War II)||Classics (Post-World-War II)|
|Hollywood Classics Dubbed in German|
Solino (Fatih Akin, 2002) IMDB
The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band) (Michael Haneke, 2009) Very dark (even darker, and also available at Askwith: Funny Games, by the same director). Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I. Signs point to a ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery. Listed in MIRLYN only under the English title ==> here are the call numbers: VIDEO-D 52410-D (DVD) VIDEO-B 55272-B (Blu-ray).
The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin) (Tom Tykwer, 2000) (IMDB Amazon. Slower, more melancholy movie by the director of Lola rennt, but still about fate and true love, and again starring Franka Potente.
Maybe, Maybe Not (Der bewegte Mann) (1994) IMDB Amazon Comedy in which heterosexual Axel, having been thrown out by his wife for one more sexual escapade, ends up being taken in by two homosexuals, Norbert and Walter, who promptly begin competing for his favors. This leads to a number of comical misunderstandings, which play with heterosexual and homosexual stereotypes. Huge box office hit in Germany at the time. NOTE: The version at Askwith does not have subtitles. Another version (hopefully with subtitles?) is on reserve at the Language Resource Center.
Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) (1935) IMDB Amazon Probably the most famous of the propaganda movies Leni Riefenstahl made for the Nazis. The library also has the very interesting documentary The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl.
Der Schuh des Manitu (2001) IMDB Amazon Record-setting box office hit in Germany, but the low-brow humor is hard to translate into English (and may not always be worth the effort...). To appreciate the parody, you may need to watch some of the old Karl May movies about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, which Askwith also has, under the title "Karl May DVD collection."
Nosferatu (Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens) (1922) IMDB Amazon If you watch this, you MUST also watch Shadow of the Vampire, a 2000 movie starring John Malkovich as Murnau (the director of Nosferatu) and Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck, providing an unexpected explanation as to why Schreck was able to play the role of the vampire Nosferatu so realistically.
Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) (Wim Wenders, 1987) IMDB Amazon You might want to watch an episode or two of the old detective show Columboin order to appreciate Peter Falk's role as "himself" (the actor who played Columbo) in this movie. If you enjoy Wings of Desire, you may want to watch the sequel, Faraway, So Close!, which Askwith also has. And/or you may want to watch Wenders' English-language classic Paris, Texas, starring Harry Dean Stanton (whom you might know from the cult movie Repo Man) and Nastassja Kinski (also available from Askwith).
The Legend of Paul and Paula (Die Legende von Paul und Paula) (1973) IMDB Amazon A popular hit in the former DDR, where viewers appreciated its wild, romantic, sad imagination in a time when the state wanted movies to focus on "socialist realism." Read a few reviews before watching it - it can be hard for a contemporary viewer to appreciate, but when you get into it, it's a beautiful movie.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes) (Werner Herzog, 1972) IMDB Amazon If you watch just one crazy, baffling, "artsy" movie, maybe this should be it. If it gets you interested, you may want to watch the documentary My Best Fiend, which Askwith also has, about the stormy relationship between Herzog and his brilliant and exceptionally difficult star, Klaus Kinski.
Heimat, a Chronicle of Germany (Heimat - eine deutsche Chronik) (Edgar Reitz, 1981-2) IMDB Amazon Addictive mini-series (11 episodes of varying lengths) chronicling 3 generations of a family from a small town in Germany. If you find yourself wanting more, Askwith also has the follow-up series, Die zweite Heimat.
The Scarlet Letter (Der scharlachrote Buchstabe) (Wim Wenders, 1973) IMDB
The Adventures of Indiana Jones [i.e. The complete Raiders of the Lost Ark Trilogy] (Die Abenteuer von Indiana Jones) Note: Raiders of the Lost Ark = Jäger des verlorenen Schatzes.