The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (Caroline Link, 2001) IMDB Amazon
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Run, Lola, Run (Lola rennt) (Tom Tykwer, 1998) IMDB Amazon
Good Bye Lenin (Wolfgang Becker, 2003) IMDB Amazon
The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) IMDB Amazon
The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite) (Fatih Akin, 2007) IMDB Amazon
Head-On (Gegen die Wand) (Fatih Akin, 2004) IMDB Amazon Warning: There is some truly gruesome violence in this movie.
Solino (Fatih Akin, 2002) IMDB
Mostly Martha (Bella Martha) (2001) IMDB Amazon
Das Experiment (2001) IMDB Amazon Imagines the famous Stanford Prison Experiment in a German context. Stars Moritz Bleibtreu (Manni from Lola rennt).
The Edukators (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei) (2004) IMDB Amazon Cast includes Daniel Brühl from Good Bye Lenin.
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.
It's a Jungle Out There (Nach fünf im Urwald)
(1995) IMDB Amazon Franka Potente's (Lola from Lola rennt) first starring role.
Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille) (1996) IMDB Amazon Directed by Caroline Link, who directed the Oscar-winning Nirgendwo in Afrika (see above).
Bagdad Cafe (Out of Rosenheim) (1987) IMDB Amazon In English, but a great story about an encounter between German and American culture. Stars Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder, and Jack Palance (!)
What to Do in Case of Fire (Was tun wenn's brennt) (2001) IMDB Amazon
The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern) (2003) IMDB Amazon About Germany winning the soccer World Cup in 1954.
Maybe, Maybe Not (Der bewegte Mann) (1994) IMDB Amazon
Summer Storm (Sommersturm) (2004) IMDB Amazon
Vision: From the Life of (Aus dem Leben von) Hildegard von Bingen (2009) IMDB Amazon
Second World War and the Holocaust
The Counterfeiters (Die Fälscher) (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2007) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (Volker Schlöndorff, 1979) IMDB Amazon Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Der Untergang (Downfall) (2004) IMDB Amazon
Das Boot (Wolfgang Petersen, 1981) IMDB Amazon
Europa, Europa (Hitlerjunge Salomon) (1990) IMDB Amazon
The Harmonists (Comedian Harmonists) (1997) IMDB Amazon
Aimée und Jaguar (1999) IMDB Amazon
The Nasty Girl (Das schreckliche Mädchen) (1990) IMDB Amazon
Jacob the Liar (Jakob der Lügner) (1975) IMDB Amazon Original on which the remake with Robin Williams was based.
The Bridge (Die Brücke) (1959) IMDB Amazon About a group of boys pointlessly defending a bridge during the final days of World War II.
Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage (2005) IMDB Amazon
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.
Comedies and Romantic Comedies
Kebab Connection (2004) IMDB Amazon
Im Juli (Fatih Akin, 2000) IMDB Amazon
No More Mr Nice Guy (Wir können auch anders) (1993) IMDB Amazon
Talk of the Town (Stadtgespräch) (1995) IMDB Amazon
Go Trabi Go (1991) IMDB Amazon Lowbrow road movie :)
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."
North Face (Nordwand) (2008) IMDB Amazon
23 (1998) IMDB Amazon Directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, who made Nach fünf im Urwald.
Funny Games (1997) IMDB Amazon Warning: this is a rather gruesome horror movie.
Anatomy (Anatomie) (2000) IMDB Amazon Gruesome horror film set in medical school, starring Franka Potente (Lola from Lola rennt)
Classics (Pre-World-War II)
M (1931) IMDB Amazon
The Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel) (1930) IMDB Amazon
Metropolis (1927) IMDB Amazon
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari) (1920) IMDB Amazon
(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.
The 3 Penny Opera (Die 3 Groschen-Oper) (1931) IMDB Amazon
Classics (Post-World-War II)
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 Columbo in 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 (aso available from Askwith).
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Angst Essen Seele auf) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974) IMDB Amazon
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979) IMDB Amazon
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.
Nosferatu the Vampire (Werner Herzog, 1979) IMDB Amazon Remake of Murnau's silent classic, which is listed above (Pre-World-War II Classics).
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.
Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, 1982) IMDB Amazon
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser [a.k.a. Every Man for Himself and God Against All] (Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle) (Werner Herzog,1974 ) IMDB Amazon
The Murderers Are Among Us (Die Mörder sind unter uns) (1946) IMDB Amazon
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.
Young Törless (Der junge Törless) (Volker Schlöndorff, 1966) IMDB Amazon
The Scarlet Letter (Der scharlachrote Buchstabe) (Wim Wenders, 1973) IMDB
The Castle (Das Schloss) (Michael Haneke, 1997) IMDB Amazon Haneke also directed Funny Games (under Action/Horror above)
Hollywood Classics Dubbed in German
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.