German Film from the Third Reich to the Present

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Film Studies
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This course traces the development of German film from the Third Reich to the present in its respective historical context as seen against the background of international film evolution and development. The Third Reich is chosen as a starting point because the persecution and emigration of the most significant filmmakers created conditions which influenced German film until well into the sixties. Criteria for the aesthetic analysis and interpretation of film will be introduced, followed by the promising approach of the so- called "Trümmerfilm" (rubble film) from 1945-51 and the ensuing division into West and East film scenes.

The entertainment film of the fifties and sixties, which prevented any form of victory for a type of critical film capable of treating the past responsibly, will be held up as an example. In contrast, the DEFA film stands as

the antithesis to the "dream factory." The beginnings of the "Autorenfilm" (literary adaptation) - even if it

was misunderstood - with the Oberhausener Manifest in 1962 and Jean-Marie Straub's and Danielle Huillet's film creations then lead into the work of internationally appraised film directors such as Fassbinder, Schlöndorff, Herzog, von Trotha, Wenders etc. as the representatives of modern German film and its critical analysis of the Third Reich in the seventies and eighties. The films from the middle of the eighties, which tended to be disappointing, are then followed by the more promising approaches to be found in the works of Tom Tykwer, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Leander Haussmann, Wolfgang Becker, Fatih Akin, Andreas Dresen etc. in the present.