Independent Study- Pit Stop 2
• 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?
• 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
• To what extent can we apply SHEP as
context for reading the text?
• How does Lang use space?
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 http://home.hum.uva.nl/oz/
• Nosferatu (d. F.W. Murnau, 1922)
• The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (d. Robert
• The Last Laugh (d. F.W. Murnau, 1924)
• Metropolis (d. Fritz Lang, 1927)
• ‘M’ (d. Fritz Lang, 1931)
Louise Brooks &
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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
• 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
• He produced 35 ﬁlms in just 15 years
before his death at 37 years of age.
The Tin Drum (d.Volker
• First German ﬁlm to win Best Foreign
• 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
Das Boot (d. Wolfgang
• 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.
• 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!
• See http://www.wim-wenders.com/
• Another graduate of the New German Cinema
of the 70s. His cinematographer, Dutchman
Robby Muller helped establish the style of
• Paris Texas (1984)
• Wings of Desire (1987)