Film evenings, autumn 2018
Every Tuesday at 18:00
Subtitles in English
The Department of German Studies welcomes everyone to film evenings which shall take place every Tuesday during the autumn semester or 2018/19. The screenings are a complementary part of two courses held by Prof. Marko Pajević: HVLC.04.025 Running Images: Early Film until the 1930s (3 ECTS, on Tuesdays at 16.15-18.00, Lossi 3-224, held in English) and HVLC.04.024 Seminar on German Cultural History (3 ECTS, on Tuesdays at 10.15-12.00, Lossi 3-224, held in German)*. You don't need to register to the courses in order to participate in the film screenings, but both courses are available as electives for all students.
This 1913 masterpiece by Giovanni Pastrone is a landmark production for film innovation. It had an amazing budget for his times and could create a set and technics that set the standard for the future. The story is based on Flaubert’s Salammbo and d’Annunzio collaborated at the script. The story is set in the third century BC, being a most influential example of the sword-and-sandal movies.
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
This film from 1919/20 is one of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history that changed the direction of the art form. Using typically jagged expressionist art for style and decor, Robert Wiene tells the story of a hypnotist at a fun fair in a small German town whose somnambulist predicts the death of a young man. When this actually comes true and a series of murders follow, detective story and psychological thriller merge into a fascinating tale.
Fritz Lang’s most iconic depiction of an urban dystopia from 1927 has largely shaped cinematic ideas of cityscapes and science fiction and is an all-time classic. It tells the story of a brutal class-society whose division shall be overcome by two young people with a vision, believing in love and goodness (the story is quite kitsch, but the film is great!).
One of the early films of Charlie Chaplin, many say: his best, displaying wonderful scenes of slapstick and heart-breaking emotionality, narrating the story of a bum taking loving care of a foundling. Tears and laughter guaranteed.
The Last Laugh
This is one of the most influential silent films, directed by the famous F.W. Murnau, narrating the story of the social fall of an usher, using very innovative cinematography and being almost entirely without intertitles and hence an extreme example of cinematic storytelling exclusively with images.
Sergei Eisenstein’s famous film from 1925 on the unsuccessful 1905 Russian Revolution focuses on the beginnings of the revolt on a battleship and the following events in Odessa. It offers many iconic scenes, particularly by showing great examples of the montage-technique.
Symphony of a Big City
This is a fascinating example of an early ‘culture-film’, or a documentary on a day of the City of Berlin, where it is the city as such who is the main actor. Walter Ruttmann created this film as a symphony, becoming a landmark film of cinema history.
Die bleierne Zeit
(von Trotta 1981) in German only!
This film from 1981 by Margarethe von Trotta tells the story of what was at stake in the 1968 movement at the example of two sisters who choose different ways to overcome the authoritarian German society – one becomes a journalist in a women’s magazine, the other becomes a terrorist. The film discusses opposing positions on the legitimacy of violence and possibilities for social change.
The State I am In
(Petzold 200 1)
Christian Petzold, one of the most acclaimed contemporary German film-makers, shows in this highly rewarded film from 2001 the consequences of terrorist acts decades after the events, on personal relationships, here particularly for the terrorist parents living in hiding and their adolescent daughter longing for a normal life.
This is a ‘Hollywood-style’ German film about the post-1968 German terrorist group of the 1970ies, depicting the fight of the terrorists against what they perceived as a new fascism and wanting to create a more human society but falling themselves back into violence and terror, losing their humanity.
M – A City searches for a Murderer
One of the early sound films, Fritz Lang’s M from 1931 tells the story of a children’s murderer being pursued by an entire city, combining serial killer hunt, social tapestry, police procedural and underworld conspiracies to create a multi-layered psychological study.
The Edukators: Hans Weingartner’s 2004 success film on three rebellious young people trying to change the unjust state of the world for the better but being confronted with the consequences of their actions, is an intelligent transposition of the 1968 revolt into our contemporary times. The film deals with political beliefs and human trust and the possibilities of political change.
Olympia/ Triumph of the Will
Leni Riefenstahl is one the most innovative film-makers of cinema history but unfortunately put her talents in the service of the Nazis. Tonight, extracts of two of her groundbreaking documentaries will be shown, demonstrating the advanced filming technics which have shaped standards since. They feature scenes of the 1934 NSDAP Party Congress and of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
La Grande Illusion
This is the story of French soldiers in German prison camps during WW1 making several escape attempts. Jean Renoir depicts in this 1937 classic a multitude of characters and social classes, offering not only one of the most compelling anti-war films but also a historical study and a social analysis of French society.