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Crossing the Wall

The Western Feature Film Import in East Germany

Series:

Rosemary Stott

More than twenty years after its collapse in 1989, the Berlin Wall remains a symbol of the vigour with which communist East Germany kept out the ‘corrupting influences’ of neighbouring West Germany. However, despite the restrictions, a surprising number of artistic works, including international films, did ‘cross the Wall’ and reach audiences in the wide network of cinemas in East Germany.
This book takes a fresh look at cinema as a social and cultural phenomenon in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and analyses the transnational film relations between East Germany and the rest of the world. Drawing on a range of new archival material, the author explores which films were imported from the West, what criteria were applied in their selection, how they were received by the national press and film audiences, and how these imports related to DEFA (East German) cinema. The author places DEFA films alongside the international films exhibited in the GDR and argues that film in East Germany was actually more transnational in character than previously thought.

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Index 299

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Index American imports 95–112, 133, 243, 246 blockbuster movie 105, 112 conspiracy thriller 186 directors 101–2, 107 film week 105–10 Kubrick, Stanley 107, 109–10, 173 to National Socialist Germany 7 New Hollywood 97–9, 102–5, 111–12 number of 8, 95–6 stars of 99–100, 107 to Weimar Republic 7 see also USA audience see spectatorship Australia 5, 16, 27, 75, 148 Austria 76, 124, 128, 129, 133 n. 104, 145 n. 2, 196, 240 Berlin Wall 7, 75 n. 143, 77, 125, 240 border cinemas 76–7 Brandt, Willy 9 Britain see Great Britain British film imports 113–23 British New Wave 114–120 heritage film 122 number of 27, 76, 113 see also Great Britain Bulgaria 28, 43, 62, 63 censorship 13, 43–4, 69 n. 125, 110, 137, 185–6 cuts 46, 51–2, 65–6, 140, 192, 241 DEFA 73–5, 92–3, 244–5 Eleventh Plenary 70 Lenin 34 Central Film Administration (Hauptverwaltung Film) 12, 14, 25, 31, 35, 45–8, 51–2, 54–5, 62, 72–4, 84–5, 86, 87, 88, 92, 104, 130, 139, 140, 153, 178–9, 182, 192, 230, 242–3 China 76 Cinema Industry Conference 76 cinema summer (Kinosommer) 37, 86, 90, 93, 163, 177, 243 Cold War 3, 5, 143, 179 n. 112, 239 contrasted dialogue 2, 160, 239, 245 crime film (Krimi) see detective film critical reception 55–9, 124 40m² Deutschland 198 April Has 30 Days 201 Blonder Tango 204...

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