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December 2000, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Martin F Norden <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 18:22:27 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
TEXT/PLAIN (92 lines)
I forward the following announcement at the request of Barton Byg, an
off-list colleague.  For more information about the workshop and
screenings noted below, please contact Barton at <[log in to unmask]>.

Marty Norden


Colleagues in the Washington DC area may be interested in the events
announced below, December 7 - 8, 2000.
Two films will be screened at the Goethe Institute Washington in
connection with the AICGS Harry and Helen Gray Humanities Workshop
"Moving Images of East Germany: Past and Future of DEFA Film." See below
for screening information on Black Box December 7 (With director Tamara
Trampe present) and Council of the Gods December 8 (Dir. Kurt Maetzig).
Speakers at the December 8 AICGS workshop on the cinema of East Germany
include film director Tamara Trampe, East German film scholar Christiane
Mueckenberger, Sean Allan (University of Reading, UK), Barton Byg (DEFA
Film Library, UMass), Stefan Soldovieri (Northwestern University), and
Katie Trumpener (University of Chicago). Contact information for AICGS is
below. Thanks, Barton Byg

The Goethe-Institut Washington,
the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts, and
the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies
cordially invite you to two DEFA film screenings
in conjunction with the AICGS Harry and Helen Gray Humanities Workshop
Moving Images of East Germany: Past and Future of DEFA Film

For film reservations, please call 202-289-1200 x 168

Both screenings will be shown at the Goethe-Institut Washington

Goethe-Institut, 814 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC

Thursday, December 7, 6:30 p.m.

Black Box (Der schwarze Kasten. Versuch eines Psychogramms)
Germany 1992, 90 min., with English subtitles, Director: Johannes Feindt
and Tamara Trampe

This landmark film confronts the complex phenomenon of the Stasi legacy
in East Germany through the portrait of a psychologist who helped train
agents for the state security service. Tamara Trampe, who will be present at
the screening, also creates an innovative film structure by interweaving
visual documents with aspects of memory and everyday life, idealist socialist
aspirations, and the pressures on artists and intellectuals to serve the

Friday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.

Council of the Gods (Rat der Goetter)
GDR 1950, 105 min., with English subtitles, Dir. Kurt Maetzig (Scenario
by Friedrich Wolf; Music by Hanns Eisler)

Presented at a regional premiere of the ICESTORM video release just
prior to the 90th birthday of the director Kurt Maetzig, the sole surviving
member of the "Filmaktiv" that founded the DEFA studios in 1946, Council
of the Gods is an outstanding example of the DEFA studios' promising and
problematic situation at the outset of the Cold War.  Written by the
renowned doctor, playwright, and anti-fascist Friedrich Wolf, the film
confronts the horrors of the concentration camps, but centers around the
complicity of intellectuals, industrialists, and international (including
U.S.) corporations. Filmed with impressive talent in the style of "high
Socialist realism," the film promotes the Marxist view of Nazism as a
result of capitalism, which remained central to the Cold War ideology of
the GDR. At the same time, its historical narrative relates to
contemporary issues of institutional responsibility for Nazi crimes and
claims for restitution.

DEFA (Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft), the state-owned studios of the
former German Democratic Republic, produced over 750 feature films in
nearly all genres and thousands of documentaries between 1946 and
1992.  Located in the former UFA studios in Babelsberg, DEFA makes up a
significant segment of German film history, as the former UFA studios of
Babelsberg aspired to the status of a national cinema in their own right.
The successes and the failures of this enterprise include works by such
major directors as Slatan Dudow, Wolfgang Staudte, Kurt Maetzig, Frank
Beyer, and Konrad Wolf. Spanning the periods from expressionism and film
noir to postmodernism, with battles over new wave modernism, neo-realism
and socialist realism in between, the history of DEFA is also a unique
and refreshing window to everyday life in "real existing socialism" in
East Germany.

For more information on the workshop, please e-mail AICGS at
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