GERM 3560 New German Cinema
Situation after the war • Germany left completely ruined • Allied control of production: • West • decartelisation (break up of UFA) • East • Centralisation -DEFA
Trümmerfilme • Influence of Italian Neorealism • introverted self scrutiny
1950s • Host of small production companies licensed: chasing the same money • Hollywood reruns: by 1951 200 American films annually • No Stunde Null in German filmmaking: 40% of directors active during NS
1950s • Two Major Production Strands • Heimatfilme • Pornography
Emergence of the New German Cinema • 1961- ‘death’ of German cinema • no Federal film prize awarded • 1962 Oberhausen Manifesto • Key issue • German film must be funded. • Must be about aesthetics not commercial success.
Emergence of the New German Cinema • 1965 Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film • Young German Film • Alexander Kluge/Werner Herzog/ Edgar Reitz • Low budget • Importance of Film Schools
Emergence of the New German Cinema • ‘Opa-kino’ strikes back • New film crisis • 1971 Filmverlag der Autoren in set up • Using Television and other public funding • Alexander Kluge/Wim Wenders/Edgar Reitz and Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Effects of funding system • No need to raise capital on the open market • More artistic freedom, yet also dependence on whims of governments and prize juries • Low production values: • capital cannot be recouped at the box office
Effects of funding system • Changes to Filmförderunganstalt: • less good for New German Cinema (rewards previous success) • Since 1983: more commercial • State prizes and regional first-film subsidies
Autorenkino • Filmmakers as ‘authors’ • ‘Sensibilist’ cinema • Romanticism: national, irrational, metaphysical • Government policy: filmmaking as Kultur (Kultur and national identity) • Influence of filmmakers in political and cultural debates
Television • Alternative distribution network • TV production made integral to various film subsidies bills • Public service function of TV: form and content of politcally-engaged films • Smaller productions • Team-working: women directors • Less reliance on special effects • Cross-over between TV and filmmaking • Later adopted in other countries (C4)
Some Themes • The effects of the Nazi period on postwar German society • The Student Movement and the legacy of 1968
Some Themes Relationship to American culture Wim Wender’s Kings of the Road ‘The Yanks have colonised our subconscious’.
Aesthetics • ‘Avant-garde’? • ‘Hollywood Conventions’?
Reception • Failure at Home/success abroad • Who were the films made for? • Status of the filmmaker? • Relationship to the state? • Relationship to television? • What sort of films were these?