Andreas Dresen is a leading European filmmaker whose œuvre now spans three decades and includes some of the most acclaimed German films of recent times, such as Halbe Treppe (Grill Point, 2002), Sommer vorm Balkon (Summer in Berlin, 2005) and Halt auf freier Strecke (Stopped on Track, 2011). The essays collected in this volume by leading scholars from the USA, UK and Ireland place him in the tradition of auteur cinema while emphasising his roots in the pre-1990 film industry of DEFA in the GDR. Dresen works with an established team of performers, technicians and scriptwriters, uses improvisation and non-professional actors, and makes music and song an integral component of many of his films. He is a scholar-filmmaker who pushes at the boundaries of his chosen modes and genres (documentary, neo-realism, films about films or literary adaptation); he is socially committed, casting a Brechtian eye on interpersonal encounters in neoliberal environments; and he is always interested to tell universal stories from the localities he knows best, the working-class milieus of Germany’s east.
Acknowledgements ix Selected Filmography, 1991–2017 xi Julian Preece Introduction 1 Julian Preece and Andreas Dresen ‘Every time a film gets made, an amazing miracle has occurred’: Interview with Andreas Dresen 13 Andreas Dresen Der falsche Kino-Osten / The Wrong Eastern Cinema 29 Julian Preece Self-Reflexivity and Films within Films: From Stilles Land (1992) to Whisky mit Vodka (2009) via Halbe Treppe (2002) and Sommer vorm Balkon (2005) 47 Reinhild Steingröver Alternative GDR History in Raus aus der Haut (1997) 67 Stephen Brockmann Shaping the Nation and the New Capital on the Eve of the Millennium: Nachtgestalten (1999) 83 Rosemary Stott Exploring the East German Past and the DEFA Film Legacy in Die Polizistin (2000) 103 viii Helen Hughes Coming to Terms with the Present: Andreas Dresen’s Wichmann Films (2003/2012) 127 Jean E. Conacher Women at Work: Reflections on Social Identity and the Private Self in Die Polizistin (2000), Willenbrock (2005) and Steigerlied (2013) 147 Brigid Haines Connecting with the Real: Death, Dying and Displacement in Andreas Dresen’s Halt auf freier Strecke (2011) and Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012) 169 Julian Preece Visions of the Wende in Adaptations of Contemporary Fiction by Jurek Becker, Christoph Hein and Clemens Meyer 193 Mary-Elizabeth O’Brien Lost at Home: Als wir träumten (2015), Liminal Space and GDR Cinema Tradition 213 Selected Bibliography 241 Notes on Contributors 245 Index 249
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