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.
Notes on Contributors
STEPHEN BROCKMANN is Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University and, since 2013, the President of the International Brecht Society. In 2011–12 he served as President of the German Studies Association, and in 2007 he won the DAAD/AICGS Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies/Humanities. He is the authorof numerous books, including A Critical History of German Film (2010) and The Writers’ State: Constructing East German Literature, 1945–1959 (2015).
JEAN E. CONACHER is Senior Lecturer in German at the University of Limerick. She researches primarily in GDR and post-1989 literature and film, with a particular interest in cultural legacy, and publishes on children’s literature, literary adaptation, and authors such as Helga Königsdorf and Christoph Hein. She is currently exploring the interplay of cultural policy, pedagogical practice and literary expression for a monograph on the portrayal of transformation and education in GDR literature.
BRIGID HAINES is Reader in German at Swansea University and Chair of Women in German Studies. She has published extensively on German women’s writing, including (with Margaret Littler) the monograph German Women’s Writing: Changing the Subject (2004). She currently researches the ‘eastern turn’ in contemporary German writing, particularly the work of Herta Müller, and teaches modules on German film, literature and culture, as well as a module on the history of Hollywood.
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