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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:49 am 
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To be fair to though, a release of Ihr dunkler Punk is hardly going to be as profitable or as financially workable in comparison to arthouse warhorses like Lang and Murnau (and even then, I doubt they're making vast riches off remastering their silent films, unless it's called Metropolis).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:11 am 
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I know about Tartuffe.. it's less of a dead horse film than the others they keep releasing. And I've been screaming for a proper edition of Der Mude Tod forever.. that's good news.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:17 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Mizoguchi, did you get your Mayer/Sylvester yen cured yet? IMHO the best film of the whole lot mentioned above.

Nope. It still retains its spot near the top of the ever-widening list of tantalizing probable masterworks that the world is trying its damnedest to not let me see. How were you able to see it? (If the means can be spoken of in friendly public conversation, that is :wink: )

And amen to the call for more obscure German silents and early talkies to be made available. If I may briefly slink down memory lane, Weimar cinema was the first to open itself up to me as a miniature universe of great filmic art after Hollywood (this was when I was pretty young, and an affinity for classic Universal horror led me to Caligari and Nosferatu, and then to the total epiphany that was M) so I've got a pretty big soft spot for some of this stuff. I've never seen Der mude Tod, however (I hinted in my response from a few months ago that I'm kind of allergic to Lang in epic mode, which has led me to not really make an effort to seek out most of his silent work, but what little I know about this one suggests it doesn't really fall in with the others and might be worth checking out anyway).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Keep your eyes on your PM.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:41 pm 
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This thread seems to illustrate something I have been thinking about for some time -- that Germany's contribution to cinema in the last half century has not been very substantial compared to even small countries like Sweden or Taiwan.

Why?

We know historically that German-speaking peoples have made tremendous contributions to the arts. One need only look at classical music, for example. Even look at the wonderful German contributions to cinema before WWII. So I wonder, if maybe, some kind of real psychological trauma and scaring still afflict the German people as a result of guilt over WWII, for example? -- that they are essentially still traumatized? Some of lubitsch's posts seem to indicate that there is just not a desire to make great cinema among many Germans, that "they don't care". There must be some reason why German cinema has been lagging behind even tiny places like Hong Kong, for example?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:19 pm 
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Well, I mean...there's the New German Cinema. Directors like Fassbinder, Kluge, and Wenders were making films that explicitly (or not so explicitly) tackled the demons of the Third Reich that still haunted Germany and, going by these films, seem to have left their sense of national identity conflicted or fragmented. I find it hard to believe you could be unaware of these films while knowledgeable of the Taiwanese New Wave, so were you just being imprecise? I'll readily cop to not having a particularly extensive knowledge of German cinema post-80's. Was that what you were mainly referring to? If so, I'm not sure why you brought up WWII as a possible cause.

In general, I would caution you against forwarding blanket statements about a national cinema being in decline, or certain filmmakers having a greater legacy than others, or their being dichotomies within art (or between artists and artisans, some filmmakers being the former some the latter). I know you're not guilty of all of these; they're just the sort of comments relatively new posters have a tendency to make before experiencing first-hand that they tend to be met with derision. Sorry if I'm singling you out, or coming across as unduly harsh or derisive. That's not my intention. Actually, it would be great if you'd go a little further in qualifying your question, making it more precise. Do you have experience with modern German cinema that you've found especially significant of this perceived decline? Try asking for recommendations of good modern German films (I can only suggest Petzold, whom you've probably heard of). Broadly, avoid making blanket statements without evidence.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:34 pm 
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mizoguchi5354 wrote:
Well, I mean...there's the New German Cinema. Directors like Fassbinder, Kluge, and Wenders were making films that explicitly (or not so explicitly) tackled the demons of the Third Reich that still haunted Germany and, going by these films, seem to have left their sense of national identity conflicted or fragmented. I find it hard to believe you could be unaware of these films while knowledgeable of the Taiwanese New Wave, so were you just being imprecise? I'll readily cop to not having a particularly extensive knowledge of German cinema post-80's. Was that what you were mainly referring to? If so, I'm not sure why you brought up WWII as a possible cause.

In general, I would caution you against forwarding blanket statements about a national cinema being in decline, or certain filmmakers having a greater legacy than others, or their being dichotomies within art (or between artists and artisans, some filmmakers being the former some the latter). I know you're not guilty of all of these; they're just the sort of comments relatively new posters have a tendency to make before experiencing first-hand that they tend to be met with derision. Sorry if I'm singling you out, or coming across as unduly harsh or derisive. That's not my intention. Actually, it would be great if you'd go a little further in qualifying your question, making it more precise. Do you have experience with modern German cinema that you've found especially significant of this perceived decline? Try asking for recommendations of good modern German films (I can only suggest Petzold, whom you've probably heard of). Broadly, avoid making blanket statements without evidence.

Well this entire thread is dedicated to that topic of trying to identify good, recent German cinema, and at least for me, the influence of the films listed here pales in comparison to films out of Sweden, for example. The question is: Why? For me, Fassbinder and Wenders can't really compete, for example, with the likes of Edward Yang or Hou Hsiao-Hsien, or for that matter, against Hong Kong filmmakers like Wong Kar Wai. I don't claim to know the answer as to why such a populous, talented and creative people like the Germans would lag behind in the realm of cinema for such a long period of time. And let's not even mention the contributions to cinema from post-war Japan versus the contributions of post-war Germany... because frankly there is no comparison. The question is: Why?

My guess would be some kind of psychological scarring, but I'm only guessing.


Last edited by Trees on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Trees, you'd be wise to heed Mizo's very gentle but relevant advice here and stop while you're behind


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:51 pm 
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Trees wrote:
some kind of real psychological trauma and scaring still afflict the German people as a result of guilt over WWII, for example? -- that they are essentially still traumatized?

I've felt the same thing whenever I viewed german and austrian movies of the past 20 years (and the few that I've seen from the 1980's). They all seem to have a nastiness / self-hating element to them.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:28 am 
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Well, post-war German literature is certainly very rich, so unless psychological scarring only afflicts filmmakers, it probably explains nothing.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:40 am 
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Mr Sausage wrote:
Well, post-war German literature is certainly very rich, so unless psychological scarring only afflicts filmmakers, it probably explains nothing.


What post-war German literature would you cite as an example?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:03 am 
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Gunter Grass seems like an obvious starting point.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:08 am 
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This thread reads as if someone has just encountered Kracauer for the first time.

Trees talks about recent German cinema then offers the names of Fassbinder and Wenders: the first has been dead for over 30 years and the second hasn't made a German feature film in over 20 years. No wonder German cinema is dead...

This bears all the hallmarks of someone who has very little familiarity of German cinema outside of a few big name auteurs and has absolutely no knowledge fn the subject on which they are spouting.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:27 am 
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TMDaines wrote:
This thread reads as if someone has just encountered Kracauer for the first time.

Trees talks about recent German cinema then offers the names of Fassbinder and Wenders: the first has been dead for over 30 years and the second hasn't made a German feature film in over 20 years. No wonder German cinema is dead...


Let's narrow down and redefine the discussion then: How would you compare the contributions of post-war Germany to the contributions of post-war Japan in terms of cinema?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:43 am 
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Trees wrote:
Mr Sausage wrote:
Well, post-war German literature is certainly very rich, so unless psychological scarring only afflicts filmmakers, it probably explains nothing.

What post-war German literature would you cite as an example?

Are you asking for a list of great/notable post-war German authors? I mean, ok:

Thomas Bernhard
Ingeborg Bachmann
Christa Wolf
Uwe Johnson
Heinrich Böll
Günter Grass
Gregor von Rezzori
Adelheid Duvanel
W.G. Sebald
Peter Weiss
Arno Schmidt
Stefan Heym
Heimito von Doderer

EDIT: Forgot Josef Winkler, Paul Celan, and Peter Handke.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:31 pm 
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copen wrote:
I've felt the same thing whenever I viewed german and austrian movies of the past 20 years (and the few that I've seen from the 1980's). They all seem to have a nastiness / self-hating element to them.
Boy, do you need to see Finsterworld :D

Trees, I think you're right to intuit that there is currently and has been something the matter with German cinema during the past 50 years, but the reasons for that are both more banal (especially regarding contemporary films) and more complex and interesting than what you propose. If you're seriously interested in this topic, I suggest you read through this short thread and try to find something by all the directors mentioned therein (a project made much easier if there's a Goethe-Institute library in your town) and come back to it later when you can actually cite specific examples. Also I don't think it's a good idea to rank stuff according to someone's idea of "significance" - I mean, I would take basically any one film by Konrad Wolf over Wenders' whole filmography, and would be prepared to argue for its superior significance in the greater scheme of things, but I probably couldn't convince anyone whose idea of significance equals inclusion in the Criterion Collection or some such symptom of international marketability.

I see what you're getting at with the Germany-Japan comparison, but it doesn't really work for the simple reason of the thoroughly different production systems in the two countries and their different histories and functions before, during and after the war. The Japanese system is based very much around genre films, which should provide the crucial backbone of any "healthy" national cinema, but which to this day doesn't really exist in Germany (except on TV, in a way). That might go some way towards explaining the "lagging behind" in relation to HK that you perceive, but you'll find this deficit in many other similarly atrophied national cinemas as well. I think it's extremely important and interesting to consider these kinds of national particularities and even comparing them can be useful, but trying to rank national cinemas by perceived international significance is probably just a really bad idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:56 pm 
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repeat wrote:
copen wrote:
I've felt the same thing whenever I viewed german and austrian movies of the past 20 years (and the few that I've seen from the 1980's). They all seem to have a nastiness / self-hating element to them.
Boy, do you need to see Finsterworld :D

Trees, I think you're right to intuit that there is currently and has been something the matter with German cinema during the past 50 years, but the reasons for that are both more banal (especially regarding contemporary films) and more complex and interesting than what you propose. If you're seriously interested in this topic, I suggest you read through this short thread and try to find something by all the directors mentioned therein (a project made much easier if there's a Goethe-Institute library in your town) and come back to it later when you can actually cite specific examples. Also I don't think it's a good idea to rank stuff according to someone's idea of "significance" - I mean, I would take basically any one film by Konrad Wolf over Wenders' whole filmography, and would be prepared to argue for its superior significance in the greater scheme of things, but I probably couldn't convince anyone whose idea of significance equals inclusion in the Criterion Collection or some such symptom of international marketability.

I see what you're getting at with the Germany-Japan comparison, but it doesn't really work for the simple reason of the thoroughly different production systems in the two countries and their different histories and functions before, during and after the war. The Japanese system is based very much around genre films, which should provide the crucial backbone of any "healthy" national cinema, but which to this day doesn't really exist in Germany (except on TV, in a way). That might go some way towards explaining the "lagging behind" in relation to HK that you perceive, but you'll find this deficit in many other similarly atrophied national cinemas as well. I think it's extremely important and interesting to consider these kinds of national particularities and even comparing them can be useful, but trying to rank national cinemas by perceived international significance is probably just a really bad idea.


Thanks for the thoughtful post, and the Konrad Wolf recommendation.

I wasn't trying to rank national cinemas by perceived international significance, but rather, by their combined contributions and innovations to cinema as an art. Certainly if you look at Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Miyazaki and others, the Japanese influence on cinema has been utterly profound. I'm not sure that we have seen similar contributions from Germany. But why?

I personally believe, having lived in Germany for years, and having spoken to many Germans and spent time with many Germans, that there are deep national scars, some of them still bleeding or festering, from the second world war. Conversely, Japan does not really flagellate itself over its role or perceived crimes during WWII. I don't think that anyone would deny that there has been some self-loathing and self-recrimination in the German national psyche and culture since WWII. The Japanese don't really suffer from such burdens, in my experience.

I would be curious to know what you think separates from Germans from Japanese in terms of national contributions to cinema since WW2? I think the mention of genre films serving as a backbone in Japan is interesting. You eluded to some other, banal potential causes. What did you have in mind, if you don't mind my asking?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:18 pm 
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Trees wrote:
I personally believe, having lived in Germany for years, and having spoken to many Germans and spent time with many Germans, that there are deep national scars, some of them still bleeding or festering, from the second world war. Conversely, Japan does not really flagellate itself over its role or perceived crimes during WWII. I don't think that anyone would deny that there has been some self-loathing and self-recrimination in the German national psyche and culture since WWII. The Japanese don't really suffer from such burdens, in my experience.

Isn't this common knowledge? I don't know anyone who would dispute it.

You claimed that it is inhibiting German cinema. But you have a problem: how would you then explain the depth and quality of German post-war literature? Does the memory of WWII only afflict filmmakers?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:30 pm 
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How vibrant (from a financial as well as critical standpoint) was the German film industry before it underwent constriction during to war (and the run up to war)? Japan's film industry rivaled Hollywood in output (and quality, IMHO) until the fairly late 30s. And the Japanese were huge consumers of movies. The increasing short supply of film stock (and reduced funds for film making) significantly cut both the number of films made in the war0time 40s and the length of those films. After the end of the war, the film industry's pent-up production capacity was still there, ready to go back into action. I have no idea how comparable the situation was in post-war Germany (but I don't think the pre-war film industry of Germany was anywhere close to the size of the pre-war Japanese film industry).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Mr Sausage wrote:

You claimed that it is inhibiting German cinema. But you have a problem: how would you then explain the depth and quality of German post-war literature? Does the memory of WWII only afflict filmmakers?


Easy, perhaps too easy answer: literature is written by individuals, films need to be financed by someone else than the filmmaker, and as a German I have the feeling that those that finance non-commercial films - state institutions most of all - really favour filmmakers that are trying to critically explore the German history and deeds of the 20th century, with or without (but often with) the self-hating stance that has been mentioned earlier in this thread. And 'pure artistic quality' or 'innovation' (both stupid terms, I know) somewhat seems to be secondary. There's a reason why Sebastian Schipper's "Victoria" met with such an overwhelming welcome with the audience, because finally there was a film that tried to do something different, that was 'cool' and on a somewhat much more international level than the usual German fare nowadays.

Similar things go for the very few early German films that are shown on TV or released on dvd (apart from the big names like Lang, Murnau, Pabst): almost inevitably unearthed silents from the 20s are those with a 'social' content, like Zelnik's "Die Weber" and all those Lamprechts that Edition Filmmuseum released. I have absolutely nothing against these films, I even cherish them, but the way that all the lighter entertainment, equally as good from a filmic point of view, from the Weimar era is constantly overlooked - or expressly regarded as insignificant - speaks volumes. The same goes for that awful, totally misinformed 'documentary' by Suchsland which is on the new "Caligari" disc which totally tries to rewrite Weimar film history making the same mistakes as Kracauer. And while it certainly will be a fine release, the fact that the collection of films about the anti-Nazi resistance group "Die weiße Rose" was given the significant spine number 100 by Edition Filmmuseum is another indication that making a good political statement seems to be valued higher than assigning such a spine number to a real masterpiece of German filmmaking (whichever film might have been chosen instead).

I don't want to be entirely negative, though. Tykwer's "Lola rennt" (while not my kind of film) was a wonderful breath of fresh air and a huge international success, and there were also a few sensitive and innovative films like Michael Hofmann's "Sophiiee!!" Unfortunately, nothing much was heard of the director afterwards. There are also the incredibly stylish and/or profound works of a fringe filmmaker like Ulrike Ottinger. But her films are basically unavailable unless you are willing to pay ridiculous sums for her self-produced dvds.

As a sidenote to your list of notable post-war authors: I'm glad that you included the great and pretty unique Arno Schmidt, the only author among those you mention that - although by no means unpolitical - really innovated the form of the novel (and even the language) in Germany. But who, apart from his avid fans, reads Schmidt nowadays? He's generally seen as a more or less unreadable eccentric by many critics, although few of them deny that his use of the language was extraordinary. And everyone misses how extremely funny his later books are. But he doesn't fit into the 'canon', and few people are willing to immerse themselves into his more and more self-contained world. As he once said (I quote from memory): "The realm of art and literature is the real one - the rest is a nightmare".

And the idea of leaving reality behind, or playfully inventing a new one, is precisely what is disliked in the German film financing system, which is why there's noone comparable to Greenaway, Tsai, or Wong in Germany.

PS: Thomas Bernhard was Austrian, not German. But so is Michael Haneke, and that guy feels terribly German, too. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Tommasso wrote:
PS: Thomas Bernhard was Austrian, not German. But so is Michael Haneke, and that guy feels terribly German, too.

Well, Bachmann and Winkler were also Austrian, von Rezzori was Austro-Hungarian but I guess considered Austrian now, Duvanel was Swiss, and Celan was born in Romania, and there might be some other non-Germans in the mix. When I said German literature, I meant literature in German not literature by Germans.

Tommasso wrote:
I have the feeling that those that finance non-commercial films - state institutions most of all - really favour filmmakers that are trying to critically explore the German history and deeds of the 20th century, with or without (but often with) the self-hating stance that has been mentioned earlier in this thread.

I must be dense, but I'm not sure what you're saying regarding the film vs book industries. I mean, I know most of the major authors I listed dealt directly with the national guilt and trauma of the war. But you're saying that because the film industry promoted mostly films that did that, the national cinema suffered a dip in quality due to the focus on guilt and trauma?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:01 pm 
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I probably didn't express it, and I also must admit that I don't have an intimate knowledge of all the authors you have mentioned, but I do think that for instance Böll and Grass are vastly overrated authors, and they're held in such high esteem in Germany only because of their 'correct' political stance, not because of any major artistic achievement comparable to what Bernhard, Jelinek (another Austrian), or indeed Schmidt were able to do. And a major author like Ernst Jünger (who seems to be highly respected in France, for instance) constantly gets bashed because people think he was just an intellectual right-winger or even nazi (they probably never read his "Marmorklippen"), and they completely ignore his totally independent - and probably uncomfortable for many - stance in his works after 1945, and most of all his stylistic abilities.

My point is basically that because of the focus on guilt and trauma (or, necessarily, cheap entertainment, as we can see in much of the more commercial film production of the 50s and 60s, before the New German Cinema had a brief heyday in the 70s/80s), authors and film artists who don't care too much about history and don't want to be 'good' in a common sense have little chance to get the support they probably deserve. There simply seems not to be much of a mood that encourages experimentation, and finding a way of one's own. Even though with the example of Schlingensief I'm already contradicting myself.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:49 pm 
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Well, of the list above, I know Bernhard, Bachmann, Johnson, Böll, Grass, Winkler, Celan, Sebald, Weiss, and Heym (and maybe Wolf, I don't remember) all wrote works of which the guilt and trauma of WWII was a significant theme. Like any group, some of these authors were/are more formally exacting (Bernhard, Bachmann, Winkler) than others (Böll, Grass).

But you make a really interesting point, that the focus on extensive cultural mea culpa might have strangled artistic expression in German film during the time. That and what repeat said above about the lack of a strong popular cinema. I wouldn't know, I'm not very familiar with post-war German cinema outside of Herzog and Fassbinder. But I'm willing to believe that what you guys are saying is true.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:11 am 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
How vibrant (from a financial as well as critical standpoint) was the German film industry before it underwent constriction during to war (and the run up to war)? Japan's film industry rivaled Hollywood in output (and quality, IMHO) until the fairly late 30s. And the Japanese were huge consumers of movies. The increasing short supply of film stock (and reduced funds for film making) significantly cut both the number of films made in the wartime 40s and the length of those films. After the end of the war, the film industry's pent-up production capacity was still there, ready to go back into action. I have no idea how comparable the situation was in post-war Germany (but I don't think the pre-war film industry of Germany was anywhere close to the size of the pre-war Japanese film industry).
Well, from a critical standpoint, most of what we still consider the great German films all come from this period, so in that sense it was clearly a strong film culture. I'm not really well-read on the financial side of things during the Weimar republic, but I guess the main difference between the two countries would be that Japan already had the framework of the multi-studio model in place before the war, whereas in Germany the little studios had already merged into UFA by the 20's (precisely in order to be able to rival the American imports) and production was pretty much centralized to Babelsberg, which all went East (and became DEFA) after the war, leaving the West in a dramatically different situation compared to what they had before, and certainly with nothing comparable to Japan's capacity (Tommaso and others, please correct me if my facts are shaky here).

Trees wrote:
I wasn't trying to rank national cinemas by perceived international significance, but rather, by their combined contributions and innovations to cinema as an art. Certainly if you look at Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Miyazaki and others, the Japanese influence on cinema has been utterly profound. I'm not sure that we have seen similar contributions from Germany.
But you see this is exactly where I disagree: to me it doesn't make any sense to talk about "cinema as an art" in general. What is called "world cinema" is just the totality of a huge number of national cinemas, each with their own particularities and idiosyncrasies: the masterpieces of for example those directors you mention are considered internationally significant because they are masterpieces (and often very culture-specific ones at that - remember for example that Ozu's films were originally not even imported because the distributors deemed them incomprehensible to foreign audiences), and not the other way around. This is why I don't think it makes any sense to say that this country has contributed more than that one: it presupposes this idea of some kind of a universal cinematic art that I don't find very useful (in fact I find it harmful insofar as it almost necessarily leads to canonization, which again by definition leads to exclusion of most of what is genuinely important for understanding those national cinemas).

Trees wrote:
I would be curious to know what you think separates from Germans from Japanese in terms of national contributions to cinema since WW2? I think the mention of genre films serving as a backbone in Japan is interesting. You eluded to some other, banal potential causes. What did you have in mind, if you don't mind my asking?
What I meant is that the problems with contemporary German cinema are essentially no different from what ails of several other European cinemas, and those have infinitely more to do with the homogenizing schooling/funding systems than anything requiring national psychoanalysis (although it might be interesting to consider psychological reasons for why the entire European community seems hell-bent on submerging the continent with bland and indistinguishable po-faced dramas that no one seems to really want to watch).

Tommaso wrote:
My point is basically that because of the focus on guilt and trauma (or, necessarily, cheap entertainment, as we can see in much of the more commercial film production of the 50s and 60s, before the New German Cinema had a brief heyday in the 70s/80s), authors and film artists who don't care too much about history and don't want to be 'good' in a common sense have little chance to get the support they probably deserve. There simply seems not to be much of a mood that encourages experimentation, and finding a way of one's own. Even though with the example of Schlingensief I'm already contradicting myself.
This is my impression as well, as a foreigner with something of a special interest in German films: anybody who wants to do something different is pretty much marginalized and left to their own devices, like the guys (Rudolf Thome & co.) who already recognized this tendency in the Oberhausen Manifesto (and felt thus compelled to issue their own one - supported by, I think it's worth noting, no other than Straub and Huillet!). This whole fixation on "serious films" - the Autorenkino idea - swallowed up the support that should've been directed towards building a wholesome, multifaceted film culture, leading instead to a polarization into state-subsidized "important art" on the one hand, and absolutely cynical market-researched pap on the other. It's very similar to what happened in my own country post-WW2, and it's probably happened in a lot of other smaller European countries as well. (Schlingensief to me btw has always seemed like the obligatory provocateur or court jester, who has kind of occupied this one-man niche in "official" film culture, and for that reason I never really had any interest in him - I might be totally wrong, will have to give him a chance at some point...)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:32 am 
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To get a little more specific, maybe one point to consider is that while Germany felt national pain, shame and guilt over WWII, Japan did not. So, for example, perhaps while period dramas -- such as samurai pictures or ancient Japanese fables -- were popular in Japan and were made exceptionally well by the likes of Mizoguchi and Kurosawa, in Germany, shame or psychological scarring prevented Germans from making historical films about their own people or traditions, or films that celebrated their illustrious culture? In other words, the Germans were not in the mood (or could not find funding) to celebrate their glorious past and traditions, while the Japanese were? The Swedes, for example, would not have been similarly saddled with guilt from the war, so perhaps this allowed directors like Bergman to make beautiful historical and period pieces based on Swedish history, fairytales, and culture? It's just conjecture on my part, as I honestly have not studied the issue in depth.

repeat, by national contributions to "cinema as an art" or if you prefer, simply to "cinema", I am mainly talking about innovation and influence, though of course making masterpiece films is often the vessel for such.


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