Rubble, Ruins and Romanticism: Visual Style, Narration and Identity in German Post-War Cinema
Traditional criticism on German post-war cinema tends to define rubble films as simplistic texts of low artistic quality which serve to reaffirm the spectator's image of him or herself as »a good German« during »bad times«. Yet this study asserts that some rubble films are actually informed by a type of visual and narrative Romantic discourse which aims at provoking a »critical discussion« on German national identity and its reconstruction in the aftermath of the Third Reich. Considering the lack of previous analyses with regard to the key aspects of Romantic visual style, narration and literary motifs in rubble films, this study points to a major gap in research.
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aesthetic of opposition aftermath artistic aspects audience Blum Affair Bordwell Brückner Cabinet of Dr camera Caspar David Friedrich character cinematographic classical style context create crisis critical decline demonic citizen Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin director discussed double elements emigrant Engel entertainment films Expressionist figure film noir film techniques film’s filmic filmmakers fragmentation Friedrich’s painting Fritz Kortner function Gabler genre German cinema German population German post-war German society Germany Year Zero Gothic Ibid impact Käutner Kortner landscape Last Illusion Lorre Lorre’s low-key lighting male Martin Mauthner Mertens Murderers narration National Socialism National Socialist regime National Socialist rule Nazism non-conforming patterns perspective post-war period produced protagonist provoked reality refers representation represents Romantic discourse Romantic motifs rubble films ruins Scholz Second Hand Destiny selection of rubble Shandley shots Staudte Staudte’s film Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek stylistic tion tradition uncanny visual and narrative visual devices visual style Weimar cinema Weimar Republic West German Wolfgang Staudte