Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2 German Films Explore the Past in Post-war Germany: Phoenix and Labyrinth of Lies

First up: Phoenix, directed by Christian Petzold, who also directed Phoenix star Nina Hoss in Barbara (also worth looking up on Netflix.)  Click here for more.   Phoenix is currently playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco and at two East Bay locations.  

Labyrinth of Lies is another film examining the post-war moral landscape of Germany.  Click here for more.  Labyrinth of Lies is now playing at the Clay Theater in San Francisco.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Deutschland 83: The Cold War was Heating Up

This solid drama of the late Cold War period in Germany is an eight-episode German television series starring Jonas Nay as a 24-year-old native of East Germany who, in 1983, is sent to the West as an undercover spy for the Stasi.  

The show is notable for its extensive use of 1980s popular music, including Nena's "99 Red Balloons," David Bowie, and New OrderEurythmics, among others. Each week's episode has a curated playlist of music from and/or inspired by the episodes.  The score was created by Reinhold Heil, who produced Nena's famous song, "99 Red Balloons."
It can be viewed on Sundance TV for free (though for a limited time) or it can be purchased for $1.99 per episode (a bargain at $15.92.  Think of it as part of your German language studies) on Amazon Prime.    
Here's a short "advanced" German language quiz.  Take it and see how you do.  If you do well, or even if you don't, it's not too late to enroll in German classes at CCSF this Fall.  
And in case you've not heard it in a long time or weren't even around back then, here is Nena's big hit: 

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Berlin, Berlin!

    Check out this video from "Easy German".  What do people like about the Hauptstadt, what don't they like.  A lot of their comments sound as if they could be talking about San Francisco!

    Thursday, February 12, 2015

    Your Daily German or German is Easy! A blog for students of German

    If you've been struggling with the concept of "doch" in Kapitel 4 (used as a tasty "flavoring particle"), then this blog is for you!  Below is the excerpt discussing using doch as introduced in Kapitel 4, but there is much more.  Click here to access the complete blog.


    Doch often tones the sentence in a way, that can be reproduced by adding a question in English. There is different occasions to do that. One is if you want to soften statements that would sound too direct, demanding or rough without toning them down.
    (In the following examples the second English sentence is the version with doch)
    • Wir gehen ein Bier trinken. Komm (doch) mit!
    • We are going  to have a beer. Join us!
    • … . Come on, join us. / … . Wanne join us? / Why don’t you join us.
    • Denk (doch) mal nach!
    • Think for once!
    • Think for once,… why not?
    • Sei (doch) endlich still!
    • Shut up, for god’s sake!
    • Shut up now, will you!
    The second example is still pretty rough even with the doch... but it is toned down a little in as far as that the doch stresses the fact that the person talking is really desperately waiting for the other one to shut up.
    In other explanations the doch in the last example as well as some of the following are called intensifiers. Though it is certainly not wrong in some cases I chose not to go with this category. In my opinion the cases when doch intensifies are also marked by intonation. The written version does not necessarily sound intensified to me. This is for example the case with the last example we had.