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July 1993


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David Jonathan Levin <[log in to unmask]>
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David Jonathan Levin <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 23 Jul 1993 18:08:37 -0400
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Dear JB-
A few texts come to mind that should be useful.
1. Tony Kaes wrote what is, in title and spirit, a "continuation" of
Kracauer's project: it's accessible (in both the financial and
theoretical senses) and engaging.  It covers Syberberg's *Hitler*,
Fassbinder's *Maria  Braun*, Alexander Kluge's *The Patriot*, Edgar Reitz's
*Heimat* (Part One), and  Helma Sanders-Brahms' *Germany, Pale Mother*.  It
was published by Harvard in 1989 and costs about $13 in paper.  Oh yeah,
and it's titled *From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film.*
2. Eric Santner's book *Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory, and Film in
Postwar Germany* (Cornell, 1990) is, I think, a particularly challenging
book (and I'm not sure whether it's available in paper): it too deals with
Syberberg's Hitler and Heimat Part One, in the course of a theoretically
ambitious and extremely provocative account of the relationship between
the reconstitution of German national identity and what Santner terms
"national elegiac art."  I'm not sure whether it's right for an undergrad
film course, but it sure is a good read.
3. Patrice Petro's book *Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic
Representation in Weimar Germany* has become something of a
standard text in classes on Weimar film, although it doesn't restrict
 itself to cinema.  The book covers a great deal of territory,
 including smart discussions of *Joyless Streets* (of course),
 *Dirnentragoedie* and *Hintertreppe.*  It's available in paper
 (Princeton, 1989).
4.  Finally, Eric Rentschler's *The Films of GW Pabst* is certainly a
great resource.  (Rutgers, 1990), a tad steep at $17.95.  It offers a
 selection of excellent essays on Pabst's works, including pieces by
 Mary Ann Doane, Heide Schluepmann, Thomas Elsaesser, Russell
 Berman, Patrice Petro, Gertrud Koch, - quite the all-star cast.
I'm sure there are other things that I'm not thinking of right now -
especially, a host of amazing articles from various journals - but
 that's a start.  Let me know if you want any more information and
 best of luck setting up the course.
David Levin
Dept of German
Columbia University
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