Cinematography In The Weimar Republic: Lola Lola, Dirty Singles, And The Men Who Shot Them by Paul Matthew St. PierreCinematography In The Weimar Republic: Lola Lola, Dirty Singles, And The Men Who Shot Them by Paul Matthew St. Pierre

Cinematography In The Weimar Republic: Lola Lola, Dirty Singles, And The Men Who Shot Them

byPaul Matthew St. Pierre

Hardcover | August 15, 2016

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In film history, director-cinematographer collaborations were on a labor spectrum, with the model of the contracted camera operator in the silent era and that of the cinematographer in the sound era. But in Weimar era German filmmaking, 1919-33, a short period of intense artistic activity and political and economic instability, these models existed side by side due to the emergence of camera operators as independent visual artists and collaborators with directors.Berlin in the 1920s was the chief site of the interdisciplinary avant-garde of the Modernist movement in the visual, literary, architectural, design, typographical, sartorial, and performance arts in Europe. The Weimar Revolution that arose in the aftermath of the November 1918 Armistice and that established the Weimar Republic informed and agitated all of the art movements, such as Expressionism, Dada, the Bauhaus, Minimalism, Objectivism, Verism, and Neue Sachlichkeit ("New Objectivity"). Among the avant-garde forms of these new stylistically and culturally negotiated arts, the cinema was foremost and since its inception had been a radical experimental practice in new visual technologies that proved instrumental in changing how human beings perceived movement, structure, perspective, light exposure, temporal duration, continuity, spatial orientation, human postural, facial, vocal, and gestural displays, and their own spectatorship, as well as conventions of storytelling like narrative, setting, theme, character, and structure. Whereas most of the arts mobilized into schools, movements, institutions, and other structures, cinema, a collaborative art, tended to organize around its ensembles of practitioners. Historically, the silent film era, 1895-1927, is associated with auteurs, the precursors of François Truffaut and other filmmakers in the 1960s: actuality filmmakers and pioneers like R. W. Paul and Fred and Joe Evans in England, Auguste and Luis Lumière and Georges Méliès in France, and Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton in America, who, by managing all the compositional, executional, and editorial facets of film production-scripting, directing, acting, photographing, set, costume, and lighting design, editing, and marketing-imposed their personal vision or authorship on the film. The dichotomy of the auteur and the production ensemble established a production hierarchy in most filmmaking. In formative German silent film, however, this hierarchy was less rank or class driven, because collaborative partnerships took precedence over single authorship. Whereas in silent film production in most countries the terms filmmaker and director were synonymous, in German silent film the plural term filmemacherin connoted both directors and cinematographers, along with the rest of the filmmaking crew. Thus, German silent filmmakers' principle contribution to the new medium and art of film was less the representational iconographies of Expressionist, New Objective, and Naturalist styles than the executional practice of co-authorship and co-production, in distinctive cinematographer-director partnerships such as those of cinematographer Theodor Sparkuhl and director Ernst Lubitsch; Fritz Arno Wagner with F. W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, and G. W. Pabst; Rudolf Maté with Carl Theodor Dreyer; Guido Seeber with Lang and Pabst; and Carl Hoffmann with Lang and Murnau.
Paul Matthew St. Pierre is professor of English at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
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Title:Cinematography In The Weimar Republic: Lola Lola, Dirty Singles, And The Men Who Shot ThemFormat:HardcoverDimensions:286 pages, 9.18 × 6.32 × 1.02 inPublished:August 15, 2016Publisher:Fairleigh Dickinson University PressLanguage:English

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ISBN - 10:1611479444

ISBN - 13:9781611479447

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgments1 The Weimar Revolution and German Collaborative Filmmaking2 The Optical Convergence of Theodor Sparkuhl and Ernst Lubitsch3 Karl Freund's Signature Visual Designs in Manifold Collaborations4 Carl Hoffmann and the New Visual Discourse of German Silent Film5 Fritz Arno Wagner, with F. W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, and Arthur Robison6 Fritz Arno Wagner, G. W. Pabst, and the Weimar Zeitgeist7 Günther Rittau, Günther Krampf, Optical Language, and Autonomous Collaborative Agency8 Guido Seeber's Promotion from Special Effects Technician to Cinematographic Artist9 Rudolph Maté, Carl Theodor Dreyer, and the Framing Principle of Cinematography10 Cinematographers as Directors as Cinematographers and the Rebirth of CivilizationFilmographyWorks CitedIndexAbout the Author

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Offering both historical and aesthetic analysis of film in the culture of the Weimar Republic, St. Pierre (English, Simon Fraser Univ.) attempts to redefine how cinematic production during the period between 1918 and 1933 should be categorized and understood. Specifically, in considering the filmmaker, or Filmemacher, he highlights the impact of the collaborations between cinematographers and directors on film production and film aesthetics. For St. Pierre, both types of artists can be considered filmmakers. The author constructs a history of Weimar cinema using the work of cinematographers Theodor Sparkuhl, Karl Freund, Carl Hoffmann, Fritz Arno Wagner, Günther Rittau, Guido Seeber, and Rudolph Maté, among others. Devoting a chapter to each, St. Pierre looks at the work of these artists across the oeuvres of Weimar cinema's major directors: Ernst Lubitsch, Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau, et al. By this means, St. Pierre is able not only to disrupt some standard assumptions of film historiography but also to point toward less-known lines of continuity in Weimar film history.... Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers and faculty.