Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Research Proposal

After World War II, the Third Reich was divided into East and West Germany. It was not until the 1990s that Germany was reunited as a single nation. During this period, German film and cinema reflected these different political transformations. For example, in West Germany, the main source of funding for films was by the state under The German Film Board. Through its funding, the German Film Board sought to create films “produced by Germans for Germans” (Halle 13). Thus, these films were used to display German culture at the time. As globalization increased in the 1990s, private investments began to increase in German films as well, which increasingly became to be seen as a source of profit. Furthermore, American influence began to increase. The reunification of Germany in the 1990s also instigated a rise in German films about the Holocaust and the Third Reich, which helped to develop a “shared German identity” (Berghahn 294).

For my research project, I plan to investigate German film. I will study how German film has developed and especially the current influences on German film and how it reflects and represents German culture. Furthermore, I will investigate German film in relation to the development of the German nation state and national identity. Through this study, I hope to better understand how German film has played a role in the formation of the German nation state after its reunification in the 1990s. I also propose to research how people in Germany view the development and production of German film in relation to the impact that it has had on their culture and how the films represent their culture.

I plan to investigate films and cinema in Germany by observing current films. In addition, I plan to discuss with people in Berlin about contemporary film in order to better understand their opinion about how successfully current films represent or define their culture.  

Berghahn, Daniela. “Post-990 Screen Memories: How East and West German Cinema
Remembers the Third Reich and the Holocaust.” German Life and Letters 59.2 (2006): 294-208.

Halle, Randall. “German Film, Aufgehoben: Ensembles of Transnational Cinema.” New 
            German Critique 87.Autumn (2002): 7-46.

Kaes, Anton. “German Cultural History and the Study of Film: Ten These and a
            Postscript.” New German Critique 65.Spring (1995): 47-58.  

Rentschler, Eric. “How American Is It: The U. S. as Image and Imaginary in German Film.”
            The German Quarterly 57.4 (1984): 603-620.