German Cinema

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    German Cinema

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, German Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    18 200-level MFCO or FIME points or one of GERM 242, GERM 243, GERM 244, GERM 202, GERM 203

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An advanced study of the development of German cinema from the silent era to the present which centres on issues arising from German responses to the onset of modernity, the demands of the fascist period, the renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945 and the experience of postmodern culture.

    Where would film noir, horror or science fiction films be today without classics of Weimar Berlin cinema like W. F. Murnau's Nosferatu: a Symphony of Terror, or Fritz Lang's Metropolis or M? From the 1920s onwards, German cinema has contributed significantly to development of international screen culture. Students of film, media and German studies will come to understand the many ways in which German moving images have responded to and helped to shape national and international screen histories to the present.

    Course Structure
    MFCO 316 centres on the examination of aesthetic, political and social issues arising from German responses to four distinct periods of cultural reorientation:
    -The onset of urban-industrial modernity and consumerism
    -The imposition of National Socialism
    -The renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945
    -The experience of post-industrial culture and, after 1989, of Germany's reunification to the present

    -Essay 1: 20%
    -In-class test: 20%
    -Essay 2: 30%
    -Final examination (2 hours): 30%

    Learning Outcomes
    At the completion of this course students should be able to:
    -Relate examples of the screen culture of the periods studied to changes occurring in German social, political and cultural life in an international context
    -Understand the role of cinematic discourse in the ongoing construction of notions of German society, gender, class, ethnicity and projections of national identity
    -Show an understanding of the contribution of selected examples of German screen culture to cinema as an international culture
    -Discern and articulate formal and aesthetic practices operative in selected examples of German cinema in relation to critical perspectives provided by film theory and cultural analysis

    The Course Reader and other supporting material are available on Blackboard.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.