German 111 - German Cinema at McDaniel College
Class Schedule

Readings are required, and should be completed by the day for which they are assigned.


Topics/ Requirements/ Films

September 1

Introduction, Historical Background, Setting the StageIs/Was there a "Germanwood"? A Brief Overview of German Cinema
The Haunted Screen: History of German Cinema in the 1920s
Black Rider by Pepe Danquart, Germany 1993, 12 minutes.

September 8

German Expressionist Film 1: The Beginnings of the Expressionist Film
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligar" by Robert Wiene, Germany, 1919, 52 minutes.
Eisner, 9-27 & Kracauer, 61-76
Group presentation 1: German Expressionism in Film, Literature and Theater

September 15

German Expressionist Film 2: Symphonies of Horror
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror by F. W. Murnau, Germany, 1922, 81 min.
Kracauer, 77-87 & Eisner, 95-106
Group presentation 2: The Weimar Republic: Culture, Society and Politics

September 22

German Expressionist Film 3: Utopia or Premonition: manipulation & totalitarian authority
Metropolis by Fritz Lang, Germany, 1926, 90 min.
Kracauer, 149-150 & 162-164, Eisner, 223-236
Group presentation 3: Collapse of Democracy and Rise of the Nazis

Essay 1 is due on Thursday, September 29: Choose one or more of the films: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, or Metropolis, and write an essay about “Expressionism in Early German Film.” You must incorporate the literature you have read in class.

September 29


Cinema and the Third Reich Film as a Tool for Propaganda 1: Mass Manipulation
Triumph of the Will by Leni Riefenstahl, Germany, 1935, 110 min.
Kracauer, 275-280 & 298-303, Eisner 335-337
Group presentation 4: Nazi Ideology and Film

October 6

Film as a Tool for Propaganda 2: Anti-Semitism
Jud Suess, Veit Harlan, Germany, 1940, 100 min.
Welch, 280-292 (On Blackboard [Bb])
Group presentation 5: Anti-Semitism

Essay 2 is due on Thursday, October 13: Analyze and compare Triumph of the Will with Jud Suess, and discuss how the Nazis used film as a propaganda tool. You must incorporate the literature you have read in class.

October 13

The New German Cinema: An Eternal Coping with the Past? No Time for Coping? - Reconstruction, Decline of Human Values and Economic Miracle
The Marriage of Maria Braun by Rainer W. Fassbinder, Germany, 1979, 120 m.
Kaes, 73-103
Group presentation 6: Occupation and Division: Germany 1945-1954

October 20


The Fatherland, the Land of the Pale Mothers
Germany, Pale Mother by Helma Sanders-Brahms, Germany, 1979, 123 min.
Read: Kaes, 137-160
Group presentation 7: Germany 1939-1955 - Role of Women

October 27


History of the Berlin Wall as a Film
The Promise by Margarethe von Trotta, Germany, 1995, 115 min.
Read:Adamek, Kinzer, Shulgasser & Walsh (On Blackboard [Bb])
Group presentation 8: German History 1961-1989: The Making & Breaking of the Wall

Essay 3 is due on Thursday, November 3: Discuss how one or all of the three films The Marriage of Maria Braun, and Germany, Pale Mother, or The Promise try to cope with the recent German past. You must incorporate the literature you have read in class.

November 3

German Film Comedies – “An Oxymoron No More” - “Searching for Stories in a Gray Germany”: A Yuppie Marital Comedy, Gender Roles and Sexuality
Men by Doris Dörrie, Germany, 1985, 96 min. or
Makin’ Up
by Katia von Garnier, Germany 1993, 55 min.
Read: Phillips, 173-182 Caprio, 374-387 (Course Packet)

November 10

Cheating & Everyday Relationships: The Zeitgeist of the New German Comedies?
Maybe … Maybe Not by Sonke Wortmann, Germany, 1996, 93 min.
Beck, Busack (Course Packet)
Group presentation 9: Gays and Lesbians in Germany and the USA

Essay 4 is due on Thursday, November 17: Discuss the different gender relations depicted in the films Men, Makin’ Up and Maybe … Maybe Not. You must incorporate the literature you have read in class.

November 17

Deaf Culture in Germany
Beyond Silence by Caroline Link, Germany, 1997, 107 min.
Chase, Movieweb & Stein (Course Packet)
Group presentation 10: Deaf Culture in Germany and the USA

December 1

A German “Groundhog Day” or “What if …”
Film: Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer, Germany, 1998, 81 min.
Adams, Goldberg, Howe, Wunder (Course Packet)
Group presentation 11: Destiny or Free Will? Can we influence our fate?

December 8

A Film Project by McDaniel Students
Knocking on Heavens Doors
Review, Evaluations and Reflection

Check the following very good web site on German Cinema: (Excellent German Cinema Course) (History of German Cinema)
(German Cinema Course) (German Women Filmmakers)

For General information on movies (title, director, cast, plotline, etc.) check: (All Movie Guide) (Internet Movie Database)

This web page was designed by: Dr. Mohamed Esa, Last updated: August 2005