German Movies

I was wondering if anybody knew of any good “culturally significant” (as my German professor put it) movies that would most likely be readily available with English SUBTITLES (not dubbed in English). Because I can’t show up for the stupid movie that he has every monday night (because I… you know… work for a living and COMMUTE) I’m going to find ten movies and write about each of them. Normally, I’d only have to watch five and write about them or just watch ten. Since I can’t make it to where he supervises me, I have to write ten papers (little dinky one page summary/responses, but still) about the movies that I “allegedly” see. I guess he doesn’t like commuters… :stuck_out_tongue:

So yeah; name any movies from Germany that are considered culturally significant. The German title is great, but it would also be cool if you knew what it was called in English (not what the title translates to, but what they called it when it was released to the US). Thanks!

Culturally significant for Germany, the US, the West, or just in general?

I guess there are movies like Das Boot or Run Lola Run (Lola rennt). There’s probably a Faust film or two. If propaganda counts, Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) is definitely significant.

Das Boot is awesome. Its sort of hard to find good German films due to the whole bad movie = tax writeoff thing they used to have.

From what I’ve heard, Triumph is actually shot very well and film students often study it. There was also a movie I saw last year dealing with the 1936 Olympics. As I recall it was more of a salute to the athlete than a propaganda film. The diving scenes in particular are probably the best part of that film.

Try anything by Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, or Rainer Maria Fassbinder. Between them, these three directors made up what was called the “New German Cinema” of the 70s and 80s.

But are Herzogs movies culturally significant in learning about Germany? (this is for a German class afterall)

Herzog’s films (especially the ones that take place in Germany) are very, very heavily influenced by a kind of Bavarian pagan romanticism. You could argue that he’s the most “German” out of those three directors.

yeah Herzog is the way to go.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is a good place to start.

Murnau is also a good choice. He did a lot of early silent work. Faust, Nosferatu, Der Golem. He was all about German Expressionism.

Fritz Lang’s Metroplis is also one of the most influential movies in cinema history.

or Uwe Boll.

Yes, all of those are good choices (also “M” by Fritz Lang).

YES! :smiley: Go DT! Finally someone who might be inetrested in my recommendations <3

Two movies that are a must- see when it comes to the german democratic republic: Goodbye Lenin, and Sonnenallee. Watch them. They’re a bit semi- serious because… well. they display it in a comedic fashion. Funny! But nevertheless you get a good insight in how life was like there back then.
Goodbye Lenin plays in the present though; I thought it was really funny. A patriotic Eastern german woman falls into a coma, and she wakes up after the wall fell. The doctor tells her son that under no circumstances this info could be given to her or she might have a heart attack and die. So what they do is create an entire eastberlin around her, like fake old news when she watches TV and how the first socialist from germany landed on the moon, put all the food intoold jars etc. I loved that.
Sonnenalle Plays directly in eastern germany. Also nice. Shows the life of a family and all teir mishaps.

Aside from that, we have “Der Untertan” (The loyal subject), a black and white movie of Heinrich Mann’s book (which is my favorite evar), showing germany during in the late 1800s/ 1900s in all its militaric goodness, the “prussian morals” and the exploitation of the workers. I liked both book and movie very much, they’re also obviously sarcastic (which is why it was censored and eventually forbidden after 1918 and under the nazis). I think it’s very important to know this part of German history before you can fully understand how it came to the third reich regime.

And for that time, we have “Die Bruecke”. You may have heard of it, it’s also a back and white movie, rather old. Doesn’t really show the cruelty of war, but moreso, how some of the soldiers were treated after the war was actually lost already. It shows how a group of some boys who’re barely 18 years old and have hardly had any military training are sent to defend a bridge in a city where the enemy is supposed to come through, how they’re told that they matter and how everyone values them even thoguh it is clear from the beginning that they had no chance, the war was long lost already and noone of them would survive. They stand for all the useless sacrifices that were made, on both sides.

I’ll think of more later. :o Gonna ask my dad, maybe.

Oh, man. Unfortunately, I don’t think that they’d allow silent films, because part of the point was hearing the German with the English subtitles. I think that I’ll ask anyway.

SK and DT seem to have the most interesting choices so far. I think that I’ll watch a lot of these for my own pleasure.

Also, (for the record) Metropolis is, indeed, an awesome film.

Just curious - do you have to see movies that are different from the ones the professor shows? Are the ones he’s showing available for you?

Run Lola Run is a very interesting movie. :frowning:

They are available to me, but since other people are trying to rent them out I figured that it would be best for me to seek outside resources.

EDIT: Aww… I didn’t mean you weren’t appreciated, 984! All of the suggestions were interesting. :frowning:

I would not recommend you to take any Faust- movies. Some of the things mentioned in this thread are very relevant in literature, but some of the movie versions are just a disaster in comparison.
I just thought of a few other ones, but I think you probably have enough for now. <.<; I just wanted to mention Napola. You probably have enough of third reich movies to choose from (there seems to be a hitler boom lately. Der Untergang… Uncle Adolf… Hitler and his women… Eva Braun’s something…Anne Frank’s diaries would be a relevant one I guess. I’m sure there’s a movie?)
Anyway, you might wanna have a look at Napola. Germany, 1942. 17 year old boy starts a boxing career with the aid of a school which intends to raise germany’s elite, all for the Fuehrer, blahblah. He’s amazed and euphoric about it all, until his friend commits suicide and he starts to question the system.

Napola is nice, although especially in the first half a bit too uncritical with the Napola. Der Untergang is clearly great and I’m pretty sure that you’ve already seen it. You might also want to see The Pianist, although that’s not really a german movie but more a European co-production with german participation, but it circles around a topic concerning Germany.
And as to films that don’t deal with our nazi-history, you could watch “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei” (The Edukators) and, if you are interested in soccer, “Das Wunder von Bern” (The miracle of Bern). A pretty good movie that deals with our religious history is “Luther”. All the other movies I could recommend may be directed by a german, may be filmed in Germany, but won’t be of particular significance for Germany.

I dont know how culturally significant this is, but i saw a movie (actually, i think its a 15-hour miniseries) called “Heimat.” It follows the Simon family, the members of which live in Sabbach (i think), a small town in wesetern Germany. It starts with a soldier returning home just after WWI and follows the family in germany until around the time the wall comes down. In short, it shows the history of Germany from 1918 to around 1989 from the eyes of the people. It’s very good. I saw it on DVD, B&W and color, German w/ english subtitles.


As Dragon Tear said Goodbye Lenin is very good. Stalingrad is also very good and a must see.