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GERMAN 2S03 Mod Germany Cinema (In Engl)

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Iris Bruce

Email: ibruce@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 502

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24697

Office Hours: Tuesday/Wednesday 16:30-17:30; or by appointment



Course Objectives:

Students will identify common themes and motifs and analyze diverging developments in East and West Germany against the background of dominant aesthetic and ideological positions at the time of the films’ production and reception. They will be able to trace continuities and shifts in the self-definition of West/East and contemporary Germany through their exploration of the films’ representation of 20th century German history and society.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Text:
Available at Titles, the university bookstore.

 

Reimer, Robert C. German Culture Through Film: An Introduction to German Cinema (Pullins, 2005)

 

Films will include:

 

1. The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg)

2. M (Fritz Lang)

3. The Murderers are Among Us (Wolfgang Staudte)

4. Naked Among Wolves (Frank Beyer)

5. Sophie Scholl--The Final Days (Marc Rothemund)

6. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder)

7. Lives of the Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)

8. The Legend of Paul and Paula (Heiner Carow)

9. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta)  

10. Walk on Water (Eytan Fox)

11. The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin)


Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Evaluations: (Due Dates)

 

Film critique (800-1000 words, take home). . . .  20% (due Oct.  8)

Essay (ca. 2500 words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40% (due Nov. 12)

Final Exam . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..40% (scheduled by Registrar’s Office)


The final exam will ask specific and detailed questions about the lectures, films, and your reading assignments. You will have to identify film makers/characters, titles of films, and answer questions about themes and cultural backgrounds relating to the course material.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

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The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

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Topics and Readings:

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND LECTURES

 

The discussion of certain films may flow over to the following class.

 

September  10Introduction: Weimar Cinema; screening: Blue Angel; read Reimer/Zachau 33-41

 

September  17:   screening: M (Fritz Lang); Reimer 43-49

 

September  24:   screening:  The Murderers are Among Us (Wolfgang Staudte); Reimer/Zachau 75-83

 

October         1:  screening:  Naked Among Wolves (Frank Beyer)    

 

October         8:  film critique due; screening: Sophie Scholl--The Final Days (Marc Rothemund)

 

OCTOBER  12- 17: MID TERM RECESS

 

October      22:  screening: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder); Reimer 125-32 

 

 

 

October      29:  screening: Lives of the Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) 

 

November    5:  screening: The Legend of Paul and Paula (Heiner Carow); Reimer 119-24

 

November 12:  TERM PAPER DUE; The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Volker Schlöndorff,

                        Margarethe von Trotta); Reimer 133-39  

 

November 19:  screening: Walk on Water (Eytan Fox)

 

November 26:  screening: The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin);

 

December    3: LAST DAY OF CLASSES, REVIEW  

 

December 9-22:   Final Examination Period


Other Course Information:

Course Description:

 

This course explores contemporary German culture and national identity through German films of the past decades. We will examine film as a cultural product which mediates and contributes to the shaping of a national identity. Beginning with pre-World War II films of the Weimar Republic, we will move into the post-WWII period and into contemporary popular culture. The selected films are considered representative of important political, social, and historical changes in German society. We will discuss Weimar culture, World War II, the aftermath of the war, the divided Germany, terrorist threats, the fall of the wall, and the emergence of post-unification multicultural identities. Analyses and discussions will focus on different approaches to the reconstruction of a national identity.