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German 3002: Post-Wall Cinema

German 3002: Post-Wall Cinema
(1990 to present)
Fall 2009 (Slot 7 M, W, F 2-2:50)
With the end of the Cold War, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the spectacle of unification, the consolidation of the European Union and the introduction of the Euro, German reality has changed dramatically – as has German cinema. A large body of films has appeared in the last two decades which reflect a reality that is quite distinct from the pre-unification, post-war German reality. This course will explore the new diversified cinematic landscape after the fall of the wall, tracing fundamental social changes, contradictions and dilemmas of modern German society, and investigate how these film narratives are given visual and aural shape in distinctly new ways. The focus in the course is therefore on both the fundamental social and cultural changes that are taking place in post-Wall German society and on the manner in which these are influencing and altering film as a visual text, including contemporary German filmmaking techniques.
All movies are subtitled and will be screened outside of class time on Monday nights from 7 to 9 pm in A-1043. Students are strongly advised to watch each movie a second time on their own. Copies of the movies are placed on reserve in the QE II Library, along with peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly material.
Sept 9-11 Introduction
Sept 14-18 German Unification I. Margarethe von Trotta. The Promise (1994)
Sept 21-25 German Unification II. Frank Beyer. Nikolaikirche (1995)
Sept 28-Oct 2 New German Comedy. Sönke Wortmann. Maybe … Maybe not (1994).
Oct 5-9 Transnationalization I. Tom Tykwer. Run Lola Run (1998).
Oct 15-16 No movie. Semester break Oct 12-14.
Oct 19-23 Transnationalization II. Sandra Nettelbeck. Mostly Martha (2001).
Oct 26-30 “Heritage Cinema I.” Caroline Link. Nowhere in Africa (2001).
Nov 2-6 “Heritage Cinema II.” Oliver Hirschbiegel. The Downfall (2004).
Nov 9-13 Rediscovery of the social as a narrative focus I. Hans Weingartner. The Edukators (2004). Wednesday Nov 11 is Memorial Day.
Nov 16-20 Rediscovery of the social as a narrative focus II. Fatih Akin. Head-On (2004).
Nov 23-27 “Ostalgie.” Wolfgang Becker. Goodbye, Lenin! (2003).
Nov 30-Dec 4 Return to the East. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The Lives of Others (2006).
Participation 10%
Essay I (6 pages) 10% (due Oct 9)
Essay II (8 pages) 20% (due Nov 27)
Midterm 20% (Oct 23)
Final Exam 40%
Instructor: Dr. J. O. Buffinga
Office: SN-3057
Telephone: 864-8826
Office hours: M, Tu, W and F from 10:00-11:00