DEFA after East Germany

December 2014
47 black and white illustrations
366 pages
9x6 in
Screen Cultures: German Film and the Visual
ISBN: 9781571135827
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC PER004030, HIS014000

DEFA after East Germany

Edited by Brigitta B. Wagner

Paints a complex portrait of East German film art and representation through examining eighteen key DEFA films following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, East Germany's DEFA filmmakers had a brief window in which to critique GDR society on either side of the Wende, the sweeping political turn that surrounded the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the border. Building on the DEFA Film Library's retrospective Wende Flicks series and Indiana University's DEFA Project, this study examines the newly rediscovered filmic artifacts of this transitional cinema, introducing eighteen key films from 1988 to 1994 in essays by German scholars, film professionals, and cultural figures. Accompanying interviews and historical film reviews present a complex portrait of East German film art, its communist bloc influences, and its legacy for contemporary German film culture. The resulting anthology combines historical, autobiographical, cultural-political, and journalistic discourses to explore the tension between the hopes and frustrations these films express, the historical exigencies that overshadowed their production and reception, and the politics of their revival.

Contributors: Skyler J. Arndt-Briggs, Peter Blank, Claudia Breger, Barton Byg, Knut Elstermann, Peter Kahane, Jennifer M. Kapczynski, Wolfgang Kohlhaase, Thomas Krüger, Helmut Morsbach, Benjamin Robinson, Katrin Schlösser and Frank Löprich, Nicholas Sveholm, Johannes von Moltke, Brigitta B. Wagner.

Brigitta B. Wagner is an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Film Studies at the Freie Universität and in Time-Based Media at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Making History ReVisible
Thoughts for Indiana
Not a Bad Heritage: An Interview with Andreas Dresen
Spectral Images in the Afterlife of GDR Cinema
The Wende in Film
Between Times: My Experience as a Director during the Wende
"Look, People, Look!": An Interview with Eduard Schreiber
The Theatricality of "Shard Films": An Interview with Jörg Foth
Competing Archives: Intertextuality and Wende Narrative in the "Last Films from East Germany"
The State of Being Done: Film at the End of the Second World
Cinema after the GDR's Downfall: The Story of Ö-Film
When Berlin-Brandenburg Met Kommerz-Keil: An Interview with Klaus Keil
Performing the GDR: The Last DEFA Generation and the Tradition of Theatricality
Surveillance States: Structures of Conspiracy in Wende Cinema
Cleansing the System: East German Cinema Repurposed
Historical Archaeology: Curating the Wende Flicks Series
The DEFA Foundation, 2010: Rediscover the Past-Support the Future
Activating an Archive of Inner Perspectives: Political Education with DEFA Films
Vorspiel (1987)
flüstern & SCHREIEN (1988)
Coming Out (1989)
Leipzig im Herbst (1989) and Östliche Landschaft (1991)
Die Architekten (1990)
Die Mauer (1990)
Letztes aus der DaDaeR (1990)
Der Tangospieler (1991)
Verriegelte Zeit (1991)
Das Land hinter dem Regenbogen (1992)
Verfehlung (1992)
Stilles Land (1992)
Jana und Jan (1992)
Herzsprung (1992)
Sammelsurium-Ein ostelbischer Kulturfilm (1992)
Miraculi (1992)
Burning Life (1994)
The Schlöndorff Controversy (2008)
Selected Bibliography
Notes on the Contributors and Curators


The target audience of this book is above all English-speaking scholars of literature, culture, and film. But also from a German perspective it contains much interesting information. HHPRINZLER.DE

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