In 1962, at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, a number of young filmmakers signed a manifesto declaring the death of the old German Cinema and the beginning of a new era. What may have been seen as a unified and coherent New Wave from outside, was actually a series of ripples which appeared one after the other, from 1962 onwards. At first, the group of filmmakers which was affiliated with the Oberhausen Manifesto, led by Alexander Kluge and Edgar Reitz,
and then the filmmakers who followed them (Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg).
This course will explore the films of the major filmmakers of these two generations, with an emphasis on thematic, aesthetic and ideological features that characterizes each creator. Despite their differences, all these filmmakers deal with national issues like the trauma of World War II or German identity, and respond to the political tensions of their time (May 1968, Baader-Meinhof Gang, and the events of Autumn 1977). The films will be placed in a wider cinematic context, between European Modernist Cinema and Hollywood.