National Cinema: Weimar Cinema and the Modern Experience
160 - 002 | CCN: 31723
Date and Time: TH 11-2P, 188 DWINELLE
The course uses film to explore the relationship between modern culture and politics in the Weimar era, the turbulent period between the end of World War I in 1918 and Hitler’s assumption of power in 1933. This period of radical social modernization fostered a spirit of experimentation as well as a sense of permanent panic. In Weimar cinema we can see a site where major conflicts of the modern age (war, revolution, trauma, gender, class, crime, technology, democracy, fascism) were played out on the screen – conflicts which remain unresolved today. The course will focus on the new modernist film language that filmmakers such as Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, and Leni Riefenstahl developed to make the contradictions of the experience of modernity visible. It is a film language that is still used in science fiction, horror, crime, and propaganda films. All films have English intertitles or subtitles.