German 250(W): German Cinema Contact: Prof. Christa Spreizer



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German 250(W): German Cinema

Contact: Prof. Christa Spreizer; christine.spreizer@qc.cuny.edu

Approved by Dept of European Languages & Literatures: 27 August 2008
Sample Syllabus #1:


German 250: Postwar German Cineam Professor Christa Spreizer


KG206, M 9:15-1:05 pm King 211B; 997-5587;

Fall christine.spreizer@qc.cuny.edu

Office Hours: M,W 2:30-3:20
This course offers a chronological view of film art with particular emphasis on divided Germany (1949-1990) and Post-Unification Germany (1990-present). After World War II cinema in Germany became a major medium in the nation’s efforts to redefine itself. Topics will include cinema’s use and challenges to Hollywood filmmaking conventions, the place of cinema in building and questioning national identity, its context within European filmmaking, and the role of German cinema in the emerging field of German Studies. We will look at Heimat films that ignored the political realities of the Cold War, as well as the ambitious, politically and ideologically charged films of the New German Cinema . We will discuss the cultural and historical context in which films were produced and compare how audiences of different times and cultures, including the present, come to certain interpretations about these works. Through viewings and formal and informal classroom discussions, we will engage in an active inquiry interpreting cinema from a variety of perspectives. Students will become acquainted with major stylistic innovations, different genres, actors, and various directing styles that will enable them to think about how German cinema fits into modern day discussions regarding the history of filmmaking and the development of German Studies. This course will satisfy the Appreciating and Participating in the Arts (AP) and European Traditions (ET) requirements of the PLAS.

Students by the end of the course should be able to communicate their thoughts effectively both in class and in their writing assignments and become aware of the need for interpretative tools in our complex, everyday lives. They should be able to identify the major cinematic periods and their representative works and relate this to the development of other European and non-European traditions. They should be able to respond appropriately within the context of an academic discussion and be able to critique their own verbal and written presentation skills. They should be able to incorporate useful feedback into their repertoire of critical and evaluative skills as they view, analyze, synthesize, and write about German cinema. They should be able to relate it to their own lived experience, thereby becoming more aware of the complex nature of cultural texts and the personal, cultural, and historical forces that shape interpretation.



Required Texts:
These are available at the College Bookstore and MUST be purchased for this course:
David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw–Hill 1997. A general introduction to filmmaking concepts and techniques.

Sabine Hake. German National Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2001. An overview of German cinema from the early 1900s to the present.



List of Films to be viewed in class this semester include:


  • Forever My Love [Sissi] (1962).

  • Alexander Kluge, Yesterday Girl (1966).

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979).

  • Helma Sanders–Brahms, Germany, Pale Mother (1979).

  • Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975).

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Lili Marleen (1981).

  • Wim Wenders, Wings of Desire (1987).

  • Edgar Reitz, excerpts from Heimat (1987).

  • Michael Verhoeven, The Nasty Girl (1990).

  • Tom Tykwer, Run, Lola, Run (1998).

  • Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Lives of Others (2007).


Course Requirements:

A journal of impressions when first viewing each film, to be summarized in class. 10 percent.

Active participation and contribution to classroom discussions. 20 percent. The students’ engaged interest in the course will be assessed on a daily basis by general class preparedness and informed participation in classroom discussions.

Two (2) writing assignments of 5-7 pages each. 30 percent. Written assignments must be completed as scheduled. The draft copy will need to be a substantial and well-informed effort to meet the assignment criteria. The final version should take into account fellow students’ and/or teacher critiques. Both versions must be submitted on time in order to receive a grade.

Midterm Examination . 20 percent. The examination will take place in class and encompass both short answer and essay-length questions.

Final Examination. 20 percent. The examination will encompass both short answer and essay length questions.



Policy on Plagiarism:

All work submitted must be your own. Any evidence of plagiarism on the first draft or final version of writing assignments will result in a failing grade for the assignment and a possible failing grade in the course.


Lesson Plan:

September

1 Monday No Class (Labor Day)



8 Monday Introduction. Postwar Cinema Re-writing History Screening: Heimat film: Forever My Love [Sissi] (1962)




15 Monday Introduction. Postwar Cinema Re-writing History Screening: Heimat film: Forever My Love [Sissi] (1962)

22 Monday The Oberhausen Manifesto and Young German Cinema: Screening: Alexander Kluge, Yesterday Girl (1966)


29 Monday New German Cinema and Postwar Reckoning: Screening: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
October
6 Monday New German Cinema and Postwar Reckoning: Screening: Helma Sanders–Brahms, Germany, Pale Mother (1979)
13 Monday Midterm Examination
20 Monday The (Re)politicization of New German Cinema: Screening: Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)
27 Monday The 1980s: A Period of Crises and Transformation Screening: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Lili Marleen (1981)

November

3 Monday A Period of Crises and Transformation Screening: Wim Wenders, Wings of Desire (1987)



10 Monday The 1980s: A Period of Crises and Transformation. Heimat Nostalgie Revisited? Screening: Edgar Reitz, Heimat (1987)

17 Monday Post-Unification Cinema and the Return to Genre Screening: Michael Verhoeven, The Nasty Girl (1990)


24 Monday Post-Unification Cinema and the Return to Genre?? Screening: Tom Tykwer, Run, Lola, Run (1998)

December

1 Monday Post-War to Post-Wall Reckoning: Screening: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, The Lives of Others (2007)


8 Monday Summary
12-23 December Final Examinations
German 250(W): German Cinema

Contact: Prof. Christa Spreizer; christine.spreizer@qc.cuny.edu

Approved by Dept of European Languages & Literatures: 27 August 2008
Sample Syllabus #2:
German 250: German Women Filmmakers Professor Christa Spreizer

KG206, M 9:15-1:05 pm King 211B; 997-5587;

Fall christine.spreizer@qc.cuny.edu

Office Hours: M,W 2:30-3:20
In this course we will analyze the works of major German-speaking women filmmakers (Austrian and German), using the films of Leni Riefenstahl and Margarete von Trotta as focal points. Whereas the films to arise from the Oberhausen Manifesto (1962) and New German Cinema were primarily by men, networks of women filmmakers were also established to improve the working conditions and representation of women in filmmaking. Today there are proportionately more women filmmakers in Germany than in any other country.
We will begin with an overview of women filmmakers of the first half of the twentieth century and the problematic legacy of Leni Riefenstahl, before concentrating on the films to come out of the 1970s German women’s movement and the questions they pose regarding a feminine aesthetic by analyzing the wide-ranging, heterogeneous character of these films . The films of Margarete von Trotta will be examined in-depth.
The course will conclude with a discussion of recent developments of the genre of German Cinema, its relationship to the field of German Studies, feminism, and the more radical film experimentations of the last twenty years. Students will analyze the construction of forms of difference in the history of German cinema and German culture, thus leading to a critical understanding of the traditions of Western civilization and how such traditions affect audience perception and the creation of culture to the present day. This course will satisfy the Appreciating and Participating in the Arts (AP) and European Traditions (ET) requirements of the PLAS.
Students by the end of the course should be able to communicate their thoughts effectively both in class and in their writing assignments and become aware of the need for interpretative tools in our complex, everyday lives. They should be able to identify the major cinematic periods and their representative works and relate this to the development of other European and non-European traditions, respond appropriately within the context of an academic discussion. They should be able to relate the films discussed to their own lived experience, thereby becoming more aware of the complex nature of cultural texts and the personal, cultural, and historical forces that shape interpretation.
Background Texts:
Required Texts:
These are available at the College Bookstore and MUST be purchased for this course:


  • David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw–Hill 1997.

  • Sabine Hake. German National Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2001.

  • Julia Knight. Women and the New German Cinema. New York: Verso, 1992.


On Reserve:

  • Sandra Frieden et al. Gender and German Cinema, Gender and Representation in New German Cinema, vols. 1&2, Providence: Berg, 1993. Vol 1: Gender and Representation in the New German Cinema ; Vol 2: German Film History/German History on Film

  • Susan E. Linville. Feminism, Film, Fascism: Women’s Auto/Biographical Film in Postwar Germany. Austin: U of Texas P, 1998.

  • Eric Santner. Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory and Film in Postwar Germany. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.


List of Films:

  • Leontine Sagan, Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

  • Leni Riefenstahl, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993).

  • Leni Riefenstahl, Triumph of the Will (1935)

  • Jutta Brückner, Ein ganz und gar verwahrlostes Mädchen (A thoroughly demoralized girl, 1977)

  • Helma Sanders–Brahms, Deutschland, Bleiche Mutter (Germany, Pale Mother 1979)

  • Marianne Rosenbaum, Peppermint Frieden (Peppermint Peace, 1983)

  • Dorris Dörrie, Männer (1985)

  • Margarethe von Trotta, Die bleierne Zeit (Marianne and Julianne, 1981).

  • Margarethe von Trotta, Rosa Luxemburg (1986)

  • Monika Treut, My Father is Coming – Ein Bayer in New York (1991)

  • Vali Export, The Practice of Love (1984)


Course Requirements:

  • A journal of impressions when first viewing each film, to be summarized in class. 10 percent.

  • Active participation and contribution to classroom discussions. 20 percent. The students’ engaged interest in the course will be assessed on a daily basis by general class preparedness and informed participation in classroom discussions.

  • Two (2) writing assignments of 5-7 pages each. 30 percent. Written assignments must be completed as scheduled. The draft copy will need to be a substantial and well-informed effort to meet the assignment criteria. The final version should take into account fellow students’ and/or teacher critiques. Both versions must be submitted on time in order to receive a grade.

  • Midterm Examination . 20 percent. The examination will take place in class and encompass both short answer and essay-length questions.

  • Final Examination. 20 percent. The examination will encompass both short answer and essay length questions.


Policy on Plagiarism:

All work submitted must be your own. Any evidence of plagiarism on the first draft or final version of writing assignments will result in a failing grade for the assignment and a possible failing grade in the course.


Lesson Plan:

September

1 Monday No Class (Labor Day)



8 Monday Introduction. German Women Filmmakers. Gender and Weimar Film: Leontine Sagan, Mädchen in Uniform (1931)




15 Monday The Rise of Nazism and Fascist Cinema: Leni Riefenstahl, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)

22 Monday The Rise of Nazism and Fascist Cinema : Leni Riefenstahl, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993)


29 Monday Fascist Cinema : Leni Riefenstahl, excerpts from Triumph of the Will (1935)
October
6 Monday Midterm Examination
13 Monday Postwar Cinema: Jutta Brückner, Ein ganz und gar verwahrlostes Mädchen (A thoroughly demoralized girl, 1977)
20 Monday Fascism in/and Cinema --An Inability to Mourn?: Helma Sanders–Brahms, Deutschland, Bleiche Mutter (Germany, Pale Mother 1979)
27 Monday Fascism in/and Cinema --An Inability to Mourn?: Marianne Rosenbaum, Peppermint Frieden (Peppermint Peace, 1983)

November

3 Monday Romantic Comedies and the Mainstream: Dorris Dörrie, Männer (1985)



10 Monday Memory and Subjectivity: Margarethe von Trotta, Die bleierne Zeit (Marianne and Julie, 1981)

17 Monday Memory and Subjectivity: Margarethe von Trotta, Rosa Luxemburg (1986)


24 Monday Experimental Film: Monika Treut, My Father is Coming – Ein Bayer in New York (1991)

December

1 Monday Experimental Films: Vali Export, The Practice of Love (1984)


8 Monday Summary
12-23 December Final Examinations


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