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February 2000, Week 4


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Jens Westerfeld <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 25 Feb 2000 10:53:00 +0100
text/plain (92 lines)
The Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany) has the pleasure to offer to you an
International Summer University courses on

        "Berlin: Cinematic City - National Site".

The International Summer University will take place from July 22 through
August 18, 2000.

The language of instruction will be English.

This course will focus on cinematic representations of Berlin in three
periods of socio-political crisis and transition: the late Weimar Republic
before 1933, the post-war era after 1945 and the years before and after
re-unification in 1989. We shall explore how urban pace was constructed and
contested in cultural production during these times of unstable and
controversial national identity.
The Weimar Republic is remembered as one of the most turbulent and creative
periods in the history of the twentieth century. The social, political and
cultural aspects of Berlin in those years have become synonymous with the
positive and negative sides of the vast modern metropolis, whose innovations
have influenced subsequent developments throughout the century. Focusing on
the interrelations with different media, we shall analyze how processes of
social change and notions such as the white-collar and blue-collar worker
and the new woman come into representation in a wide variety of films that
play in Berlin. The documentary "Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt" (1927,
Walther Ruttman) will be read as a prototypical narrative of arrival in the
city. "Menschen am Sonntag" (1930, Robert Siodmak) will serve as an
introduction to a world of "little shopgirls", of urban leisure and
amusement at the height of Germany's modernity. Fritz Lang's thriller "M"
(1931), representing Berlin as a dangerous space, reigned by mass media and
psychosis, set the tone for many urban thrillers produced since. "Kuhle
Wampe oder Wem gehört die Welt" (1932, Slatan Dudow & Bertolt Brecht) and
"Hitlerjunge Quex" (1933, Heinz Steinhoff) also depict the streets of Berlin
as a contested space and the plight of the working class during the Nazi's
rise to power.
During the post-war era, the city was occupied and divided. The "rubble
films" reflected different interests at stake in projecting memories of the
past in the light of new beginnings. We shall compare different tales of
redemption such as "Die Mörder sind unter uns" (1946, Wolfgang Staudte) and
include "foreign" perspectives such as Rosellini's "Germania Anno Zero"
(1947, Roberto Rossellini) and the American production "A Foreign Affair"
(1948, Billy Wilder). Films of the cold war period, such as "The Divided
Sky" (1964, Konrad Wolf & Christa Wolf) and "Der Himmel über Berlin/Wings of
Desire" (1987, Wim Wenders) again focus on Berlin as a politically charged
site that symbolizes divisions and ruptures on the political and personal
The reunification of Germany has once again made Berlin a contested space of
national significance. The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in the new
capital becomes apparent in a new New German Cinema - made by young Turks in
films such as "Berlin in Berlin" (1993, Sinan Cetin). Immigrants populate
the construction sites at the heart of the city and celebrate
multicultural grill parties against the backdrop of the Reichstag building
in "Ich Chef, Du Turnschuh" (1998, Hussi Kutlucan). The prize-winning film
"Lola rennt" (1998, Tom Tykwer) also feeds on the spirit of the construction
site. Despite its postmodern video clip aesthetics, the film recycles
strategies of representing urban simultaneity, which is familiar from the
experimental documentaries of the twenties.
The course will include film screenings and excursions to historical and
present film production sites.

This class will be instructed by Prof. Anton Kaes and Dr. Deniz Goektuerk.
Professor Kaes teaches film theory, Film Noir, Expressionism,
Weimar Cinema and New German Cinema at Berkeley. Dr. Goektuerk a lecturer in
German and Film Studies at the University of Southampton.

The tuition for this course is DM 1,200.--. There is an additional onetime
registration fee of DM 150.--. Besides the above mentioned course we offer
other fully-credited courses covering topics on Berlin, Germany, and Europe.

More information on this course and the International Summer University in
general can be obtained from the Internet at

Contact person:
Mr. Jens Westerfeld M.A.
Freie Universität Berlin
Abt. IV
Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18
14195 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 838 73 445
Fax: +49 30 838 73 444
Email: [log in to unmask]

Please visit the FUBiS web site on the internet:

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite