View image From "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" -- one of the best movies, and movie titles, ever. Say it five times.
Back when the New German Cinema was colonizing America, my friends and I liked to transform our favorite actor-names, especially those from Fassbinder movies, into exclamations. "Ulli Lommel!" we would exclaim. Or, "Gottfried John!" (with a W.C. Fields inflection). Or, "What the Harry Baer was that!?!" The moniker-musik of Fassbinder's cinematographers alone still fill me with joy: Michael Ballhaus, Dietrich Lohmann, Xaver Schwarzenberger, Jürgen Jürges...
My dream was to hear the complete cast and credits of "Berlin Alexanderplatz" read by a National Public Radio on-air personality. Sure, every name sounds great when pronounced on NPR -- and especially "Sylvia Poggioli" or "Corey Flintoff." (I love how the second syllable of "Flintoff" falls off, like it's going over a cliff. Say that last sentence out loud. It's fun.) But what if you put the two together? It could be like peanut butter and chocolate.
What follows is a list of very, very good names for your enjoyment. They are best when you speak them with impeccable diction. And don't forget the umlauts, where appropriate. While you're doing that, can you also figure out which ones are from NPR and which are from Fassbinder? After scrambling the two lists of my favorites I'm not sure I can anymore. I will, however, say this: Rüdiger Vogler. (He's a Wim Wenders actor, not a Fassbinder vet, but he's a damn fine one with a damn fine name and I wanted to get him in here somewhere.)
UPDATE: You want to hear how it's done? Our Man In Istanbul, Ali Arikan, reads some Fassbinderian names with poetic precision here.
Before the jump, here's a few to get you started -- but beware, there are three tricks!
1 Kai Ryssdal 2 Kurt Raab 3 Peer Raben 4 Mara Liasson 5 Ulla Jacobsson 6 Annabelle Gurwitch 7 Elisabeth Trissenaar 8 Ira Flatow 9 David Folkenflik