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    • April 2015
    • 9780231073639
  • 464 Pages
  • 87 b&w photographs

  • Paperback
  • $35.00
  • / £26.00

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    • April 2015
    • 9780231073622
  • 464 Pages
  • 87 b&w photographs

  • Hardcover
  • $105.00
  • / £78.00

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    • April 2015
    • 9780231539395
  • 464 Pages
  • 87 b&w photographs

  • E-book
  • $34.99
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The Use and Abuse of Cinema

German Legacies from the Weimar Era to the Present

Eric Rentschler

Eric Rentschler's new book, The Use and Abuse of Cinema, takes readers on a series of enthralling excursions through the fraught history of German cinema, from the Weimar and Nazi eras to the postwar and postwall epochs and into the new millennium. These journeys afford rich panoramas and nuanced close-ups from a nation's production of fantasies and spectacles, traversing the different ways in which the film medium has figured in Germany, both as a site of creative and critical enterprise and as a locus of destructive and regressive endeavor. Each of the chapters provides a stirring minidrama; the cast includes prominent critics such as Siegfried Kracauer and Rudolf Arnheim; postwar directors like Wolfgang Staudte, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, and Alexander Kluge; representatives of the so-called Berlin School; and exponents of mountain epics, early sound musicals, rubble films, and recent heritage features. A film history that is both original and unconventional, Rentschler's colorful tapestry weaves together figures, motifs, and stories in exciting, unexpected, and even novelistic ways.

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.

"Rentschler's command of individual filmmakers' oeuvres, from the unjustly forgotten and overlooked to the internationally recognized and celebrated auteurs, and of historical periods from the silents to the evolving present is as impressive as his ability to 'drill down' analytically and uncover significant details, motifs, or patterns. Throughout this book, he carefully historicizes its materials, finding an excellent balance between history, theory, and close analysis across a broad range of films." — Johannes von Moltke, University of Michigan

"Written in highly readable, elegant prose, Rentschler's volume is an authoritative study of the history of German film from the 1920s to the present day by one of the foremost scholars in the field. This is the work of an expert at the peak of his craft." — Gerd Gemünden, author of Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951

"[The Use and Abuse of Cinema] offers inspired juxtapositions and an authoritative range of knowledge, and is also a very good read." — Martin Brady, Modern Language Review

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.

Introduction: History Lessons and Courses in Time
Part I. Critical Venues
1. How a Social Critic Became a Formative Theorist
2. Hunger for Experience, Spectatorship, and the Seventies
3. The Passenger and the Critical Critic
4. The Limits of Aesthetic Resistance
5. Springtime for Ufa
Part II. Serials and Cycles
6. Mountains and Modernity
7. Too Lovely to Be True
8. The Management of Shattered Identity
9. After the War, Before the Wall
Part III. From Oberhausen to Bitburg
10. Remembering Not to Forget
11. Many Ways to Fight a Battle
12. How American Is It?
13. The Use and Abuse of Memory
14. A Cinema of Citation
15. The Declaration of Independents
Part IV. Postwall Projects
16. An Archaeology of the Berlin School
17. The Surveillance Camera's Quarry
18. Heritages and Histories
19. Life in the Shadows
20. Two Trips to the Berlinale
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.

About the Author

Eric Rentschler is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and the chair of the Film and Visual Studies Program at Harvard University.