When Heimat Meets Hollywood

October 2007
235 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571132796
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC PER004030, HIS054000, HIS014000

When Heimat Meets Hollywood

German Filmmakers and America, 1985-2005

Christine Haase

Contemporary connections between German directors and Hollywood and their implications for German, American, and transnational film.
The film histories of Germany and the United States have long been seen as intertwined, but scholarship has focused on émigré works of the 1930s and 1940s, on links between Weimar film and American film noir, and on the conflicted relationship between directors of the New German Cinema and Hollywood. Recently, German film studies has begun reexamining the interconnection of the two film cultures and focusing on the internationalism of German cinema, but little research has been done on contemporary German directors' involvement in American cinema, a gap in scholarship that this book fills. The study offers ways of understanding current German cinematic engagement with America and different directorial responses to the hegemonic pressures of Hollywood. It delineates the historical trajectory of German-American film relations in the 20th century, then analyzes the careers and works of four German-born directors who have significant ties with American cinema: Wolfgang Petersen, Roland Emmerich, Percy Adlon, and Tom Tykwer. A series of close readings of their productions isolates the cinematic practices and strategies with which these filmmakers negotiate the different national cultural and cinematic paradigms they traverse. The book analyzes constructions of national cultural identity, probes the boundaries of national cinemas, and expands our understanding of emerging hybrid film cultures. It is a contribution to German film studies and to the emerging field of transnational film studies.

Christine Haase is Associate Professor of German at the University of Georgia.

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Table of Contents

German and American Film Relations in the Twentieth Century
Wolfgang Petersen: Blockbuster Auteur?
"Foil, Toothpaste, ID4" Ideology and Global Appeal in the Films of Roland Emmerich
Crossing Boundaries, Connecting People: The German-American Films of Percy Adlon
"Bambi, Zombie, Gandhi": The Cinema of Tom Tykwer
Works Cited


The four case studies offer a kind of exemplary categorization of the different strategies for fitting in or standing out that have led German directors to success in Hollywood.. The findings are arrived at . with great care. FILMBLATT

Haase has broken meaningful ground within film studies, contributing to an emerging discussion of globalizing trends in national cinemas. . . . The writing is clear and concise, and the ideas will be useful to both scholars and students of German cinema seeking to understand contemporary trends beyond national borders. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

An eminently readable book in the tradition of Siegfried Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler.... Highly recommended. CHOICE

[A]n impressive study, offering many unique insights and covering original ground. It takes as its central point of investigation the relationship between the film cultures of Germany and the US.. Haase has made an important intervention in the critical assessment of contemporary German film production and as such the book engages with the secondary literature.. I can imagine the book serving as a primary text for a course on the topic of German-Hollywood cinema. CHOICE

The main focus of the volume is a detailed analysis of key texts by . four filmmakers [Wolfgang Petersen, Roland Emmerich, Percy Adlon, and Tom Tykwer]. These readings are generally very good indeed, presenting a strong case for viewing each director, for better or worse, as an auteur with [his] own individual signature. .Haase's is an excellent starting point and will be required reading for all students and academics interested in German - American cultural relations. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES

Author Bio

Assistant professor of German, University of Georgia.

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