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German Culture Through Film: An Introduction to German Cinema Paperback – July 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Focus (July 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585101028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585101023
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is a two book series. The first text, in English, covers thirty-one German films. This second text covers fourteen of the same films with emphasis on German language skills. Thus, one or both can be used for courses in German film in English, courses in German film in German, or courses which for various reasons might cater to students taking either track simultaneously in the same course. The series is designed to appeal to professors who teach courses in general education, liberal arts, cinema, or who conduct a course in German film exclusively in German, or for where students share the same class (and films) for those two different courses.

About the Author

Robert C. Reimer (PhD. Kansas) is Professor of German and Director of the Minor in Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He teaches language and film courses, including German, European, and American cinema. He has written and published extensively on German films, especially of the Nazi period.

Reinhard Zachau (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) is Professor of German at the University of the South. His research includes the literature of Weimar Germany, exile literature, East German literature, and on post-1945 West German culture and literature. For the Consortium of German in the Southeast, he organizes and frequently directs "Summer in Sewanee,"for high school teachers and advanced undergraduates at the University of the South.

Margit M. Sinka (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is Professor of German and Head of the German Section at Clemson University. She publishes on medieval German epics, medieval mysticism, 19th century literature, genre studies), pedagogy, and other topics. She has been the post-secondary Southeast Representative on the Executive Council of the American Association of German Teachers.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I found German Culture through Film to be an exceedingly helpful resource in my German film class. Every chapter is clear, concise, and filled with interesting insights on each film. However, upon nearing the end of the book, I was very put-off by one chapter in particular: Lola Rennt.

Reading this chapter on Tom Tykwer's exciting film, you are led to believe that previously, German cinema consisted of nothing more than some amateurs with a video camera. Margit Sanka calls it "astonishing" and "uncharacteristic" that the film was so well-made and well-received. Meanwhile, this entire book had just taught us about the wonders and achievements of German films for almost a hundred years. Did not Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari forever influence cinema, unveiling a new distinct style of expressionism? Does this very same textbook not say that M was called such things as "frightfully good," "the predecessor to all serial killer thrillers", and "one of the defining movies of European pre-WWII cinema"? Yet from the way Lola Rennt is described, Germany seems to have never produced any sort of film that is notable, entertaining, or accomplished in any way. This entire textbook is devoted to the triumphs and influence of German films, but this chapter suddenly makes it seem like none of them really mattered until Lola Rennt came onto the scene.

Furthermore, many claims about the movie are questionable. The book claims that "even Tykwer suggested that the film could be set in any large city," but then goes on to say that "This Berlin connection...provides the film with a cultural relevance on its home territory that it cannot possibly have for international audiences." So does the film truly resonate with people across the globe, or is the effect only experienced by true Germans?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm taking an intro to German film course, and this book has been incredibly helpful as a review tool. Chapters are concise, knowledgeable, and easy to understand. I definitely recommend.
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By Chris Seltzer on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this for a class I was taking, it's well written and the includes a good selection of movies. Don't know that it's useful except as a textbook though.
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Format: Paperback
This book was pretty good in introducing new movies and giving you the basics, with a bit of analysis. But as a book that is supposed accentuate the positives of German culture through German films, it does a poor job on a certain chaper. This was brought to my attention as I was reading the chapter on the film " Lola Rennt." This chapter which was written by Margit Sanka, was written in a way that makes every other German film seem underrated and bad. It's as if "Lola Rennt" is the messiah for the rest of the German film industry; as if it came to save the masses from terrible movies.
Margit Sanka is also guilty of criticizing this film as if she is the ultimate authority on films, as if she is the voice of the people and knows how everyone thinks. She lacks any respect for the actual themes the film is trying to convey and sees it as a "comedy"
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By Rose on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Overall, German Culture Through Film: An Introduction to German Cinema is a good textbook that offers a variety of perspectives on the cultural impacts of the films discussed, however some chapters are lacking in even a shallow evaluation or taking a non-cohesive approach at analyzing a film's cultural significance. Particularly lacking are the chapters on the film, Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run, chapter 27) and Good Bye, Lenin! (chapter 31), with the former failing to truly evaluate the film's reception and larger cultural impact following German reunification (it's something of a "filler" chapter) and the latter failing to establish the importance of the themes of the film for its time. Though it lacks content from many non-native Germans producing German films (specifically by Turkish Germans), this textbook is good for an introductory German film or culture course and is successful in discussing the important issues of German culture from the early twentieth century to the present.
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