German Cinema.Key


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A mini history of key genres, movements, texts and directors associated with German Cinema

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  • German Cinema.Key

    1. 1. German Expressionism & Beyond... Independent Study- Pit Stop 2
    2. 2. Linkage... • Compare and contrast our text of study, M (d. Fritz Lang, 1931) with Sin City (d. Robert Rodriguez, 2005) • Which themes, motifs, textual details, narrative features, representational issues, genre conventions etc link with M?
    3. 3. ‘M’ • This is an interesting text for those of you interested in sound design. What is leitmotif and how does it function in M? • Use of chiaroscuro lighting and hovering omniscient camera position above the cityscape. Why? • To what extent can we apply SHEP as context for reading the text? • How does Lang use space?
    4. 4. The Weimar Republic • The undoubted authority on this era of German Cinema is Thomas Elsaesser. His book Weimar Cinema & After: Germany’s Historical Imaginary is in the school library. • His website is elsaesser/
    5. 5. Seminal Texts • Nosferatu (d. F.W. Murnau, 1922) • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (d. Robert Wiene, 1920) • The Last Laugh (d. F.W. Murnau, 1924) • Metropolis (d. Fritz Lang, 1927) • ‘M’ (d. Fritz Lang, 1931)
    6. 6. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Clip
    7. 7. Nosferatu Clip
    8. 8. Louise Brooks & Marlene Dietrich • Pandora’s Box (d. Georg Pabst, 1929)- One of the first portrayals of lesbianism in film, with even more shocking roles to follow. • The Blue Angel (d. Josef Von Sternberg, 1930) This sultry femme fatale’s career correlates strongly with Von Sternberg
    9. 9. Pandora’s Box
    10. 10. Leni Riefenstahl • Documentarian • Triumph of the Will (d. Riefenstahl, 1935) • Olympia (d. Riefenstahl, 1938) • Known for her powerful use of propaganda in film, which promoted the Aryan race (Olympia) as well as Hitler. (Triumph of the Will)
    11. 11. Triumph of the Will
    12. 12. Olympia
    13. 13. Kuhle Wampe • A film from 1932 written by Bertolt Brecht and associated with left-wing political beliefs. Inevitably, given the rise to power of the Nazis, it was banned and did not resurface until many years after WW2.
    14. 14. Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder & The Frankfurt School • Much of the talent which flourished in Germany (1930s) was inevitably hunted out by the Nazis. Many fled to the U.S. • Theorists Adorno & Horkenheimer are credited with ‘The Theory of Enlightenment’ but were hugely disappointed with what they found in the U.S.
    15. 15. R.W. Fassbinder • One of the most famous directors to have come out of New German Cinema during the 70s (alongside Werner Herzog) with his strong, documentary-realist influenced style of filmmaking. • He produced 35 films in just 15 years before his death at 37 years of age.
    16. 16. The Tin Drum (d.Volker Schlondorff,1979) • First German film to win Best Foreign Language film • Based on the novel by Gunther Grass • About a boy who refuses to grow after the age of 3, as a protest vote against the amoral attitude of his German family & coinciding with the rise to power of the Nazis.
    17. 17. The Tin Drum
    18. 18. Das Boot (d. Wolfgang Petersen, 1981) • Holds the record for academy award nominations at 6. • Tells the tale of a German WW2 U-Boat crew. It is a fantastic example of how to use space conservatively to create a sense of claustrophobia in the audience.
    19. 19. Das Boot
    20. 20. Edgar Reitz • World famous for his seminal soap-opera style film Heimat (1984) which focused on the changes of a village in germany from WW1 to the present. • It is filmed in 12 episodes (most of 1 hour in length) and was subsequently shown on television; it is widely regarded as a masterpiece, not least by me!
    21. 21. Wim Wenders • See • Another graduate of the New German Cinema of the 70s. His cinematographer, Dutchman Robby Muller helped establish the style of Wenders • Paris Texas (1984) • Wings of Desire (1987)