Weimar Cinema

An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era

Edited by Noah Isenberg

Columbia University Press

Weimar Cinema

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Pub Date: January 2009

ISBN: 9780231130554

376 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£27.00

Pub Date: January 2009

ISBN: 9780231130547

376 Pages

Format: Hardcover

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Pub Date: January 2009

ISBN: 9780231503853

376 Pages

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Weimar Cinema

An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era

Edited by Noah Isenberg

Columbia University Press

Taken as a whole, the sixteen remarkable films discussed in this provocative new volume of essays represent the brilliant creativity that flourished in the name of German cinema between the wars. Encompassing early gangster pictures and science fiction, avant-garde and fantasy films, sexual intrigues and love stories, the classics of silent cinema and Germany's first talkies, each chapter illuminates, among other things: the technological advancements of a given film, its detailed production history, its critical reception over time, and the place it occupies within the larger history of the German studio and of Weimar cinema in general. Readers can revisit the careers of such acclaimed directors as F. W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, and G. W. Pabst and examine the debuts of such international stars as Greta Garbo, Louise Brooks, and Marlene Dietrich. Training a keen eye on Weimer cinema's unusual richness and formal innovation, this anthology is an essential guide to the revolutionary styles, genres, and aesthetics that continue to fascinate us today.

Noah Isenberg has brought together a superb collection of essays on Weimar cinema. Raucous, scary, and erotic, the pioneering films of Weimar Germany still generate surprise and pleasure and are critical to our understanding of the modern condition. Each of these authors is an expert in the field and provides a fresh and insightful reading of some of the era's greatest films, from the renowned Cabinet of Caligari and The Blue Angel to the superb, though less famous, People on Sunday. Weimar Cinema is a must read for film lovers and anyone interested in that turbulent, exciting period of German history.

Eric D. Weitz, director, Center for German and European Studies, University of Minnesota, and author of Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy

This anthology fills a distinct need: it brings together pertinent work previously published on Weimar cinema with new work in the field to provide a collection of essays that will be extremely useful for teaching.

Brigitte Peucker, Yale University

A substantial collective accomplishment, a real contribution to the fields of German studies and film studies, as well as for a general public interested in film and film history.

Johannes von Moltke, University of Michigan

Weimar Cinema is the volume on this fascinating era of international film history.

Gerd Gemünden, Bookforum

A super collection of essays about sixteen dynamite flicks.

944 Los Angeles

This superb collection... [is] an excellent overview of the critical frameworks of German film studies... Essential.

Choice

A well-constructed and welcome introduction to a number of classics.

Philipp Stiasny, German History

Weimar Cinema will prove equally useful to teachers of undergraduates as to those engaging in ongoing scholarly research into this fascinating period in German filmhistory.

Ian Roberts, Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

With its detailed filmography and intelligently organized index, this work could easily serve as the primary textbook for a survey of Weimar film.

Glenn R. Cuomo, German Studies Review
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Suggestion, Hypnosis, and Crime: Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), by Stefan Andriopoulos
2. Of Monsters and Magicians: Paul Wegener's The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920), by Noah Isenberg
3. Movies, Money, and Mystique, by Christian Rogowski
4. No End to Nosferatu (1922), by Thomas Elsaesser
5. Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922): Grand Enunciator of the Weimar Era, by Tom Gunning
6. Who Gets the Last Laugh? Old Age and Generational Change in F. W. Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924), by Sabine Hake
7. Inflation and Devaluation: Gender, Space, and Economics in G. W. Pabst's The Joyless Street (1925), by Sara F. Hall
8. Tradition as Intellectual Montage: F. W. Murnau's Faust (1926), by Matt Erlin
9. Metropolis (1927): City, Cinema, Modernity, by Anton Kaes
10. Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (1927): City, Image, Sound, by Nora M. Alter
11. Surface Sheen and Charged Bodies: Louise Brooks as Lulu in Pandora's Box (1929), by Margaret McCarthy
12. The Bearable Lightness of Being: People on Sunday (1930), by Lutz Koepnick
13. National Cinemas / International Film Culture: The Blue Angel (1930) in Multiple Language Versions, by Patrice Petro
14. Coming Out of the Uniform: Political and Sexual Emancipation in Leontine Sagan's Mädchen in Uniform (1931), by Richard W. McCormick
15. Fritz Lang's M (1931): An Open Case, by Todd Herzog
16. Whose Revolution? The Subject of Kuhle Wampe (1932), by Marc Silberman
Filmography
Contributors
Index

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2009

About the Author

Noah Isenberg is associate professor of University Humanities at Eugene Lang College-The New School, where he teaches literature, film, and intellectual history. He is the author, most recently, of Detour (British Film Institute, 2008).