CALL FOR PAPERS
Early postwar cinema in Germany. Reflections on damaged existences?
Conference at the Goethe-University Frankfurt & the film museum Frankfurt, Juli 7 to 8, 2012
What do cinema programs and films shown in the early years of postwar Germany reveal about their society? For instance, are the wounds caused by the World War visible? This question raised by Anton Kaes in „Shell Shock Cinema“ (2009) concerning the Weimar German cinema can also be applied to the postwar cinema in the late 1940s and 1950s. This cinema epoch seems to be inhabited by many blank spaces, and therefore the question becomes even more delicate: the lack of clear statements against the National Socialist regime, the loss of reflexive and artistic impulses caused by the murders and emigrations of Jewish filmmakers, and the parasitic existence of the documentary film – all of these issues seem to support the notion that the German cinema between 1945 and 1960 was a place of repression, furthering an „imageless oblivion“ (Kreimeier 1989, p. 11; transl. by Kuhn).
war guilt, holocaust, and life in exile?
This interdisciplinary conference invites (post)(doc)students of film and media, culture and social sciences. The conference will begin with a social historical introduction into early postwar Germany and into the significance of the cinemas and films shown during this era. Below are some possible topics for lectures:
- Gaping hole? Industrial films and the lack of political documentary films in early postwar German cinema
We are looking forward to receiving abstracts in English or German (not longer than 2000 characters including spaces together with a short biographical note) for half-hour long lectures. The submission deadline is April 22nd, 2012.
Bastian Blachut, Imme Klages and Sebastian Kuhn
Screenings of The Search (Fred Zinnemann, USA / CH 1948), Nuit et Brouillard (Alain Resnais, FR 1955) and Le Chagrin et la Pitié (Marcel Ophüls, FR 1969) are planned in the film museum Frankfurt.
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