Cinema as a political media. Germany and Italy compared, 1945 - 1950s

Cinema as a political media. Germany and Italy compared, 1945 - 1950s

Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom / Kultur- und Mediengeschichte der Universität des Saarlandes
Rome, German Historical Institute, Via Aurelia Antica, 391, I-00165 Roma
Vom - Bis
05.03.2018 - 07.03.2018
Prof. Clemens Zimmermann, Kultur- und Mediengeschichte, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken

The conference aims to reflect the now altered, more complex research situation in both countries, Italy and Germany to contribute to a new way of viewing the political content of postwar cinema. It is about unravelling national narratives in film history writing and contemporary historiography by means of a rigorously applied comparative approach. It will examine the question of whether in the cinema of West Germany there were equivalents to the development of postwar Italian cinema. A further question to be addressed by means of the transnational approach is which works of Italian and German cinema were successful after 1945. The thesis of the conference is that the postwar German film (until the end of the 1950s) is in need of a reappraisal. The conference might shed new light on the topic not only through careful reconsideration but also and especially through a comparative and transnational perspective. Further aspects of interest at the Rome conference, going beyond the sphere of market and taste, are above all the political construction of the postwar film and its potential functions in the politics of remembrance. In Italian cinema, the myth of a collective Italian resistance figured prominently, and contributed strongly to the popularity of certain neorealist productions. As has been demonstrated many times, the resistenza was a complex of experiences, which the media willingly communicated. The conference will, finally, set out to examine more closely such filmic episodes, often unnoticed, in which the viewer's implication in the regime is briefly illuminated.


Monday, 5 March 2018

1. Martin Baumeister (Roma) Welcome speech
2. Lutz Klinkhammer (Roma) Introduction I
3. Clemens Zimmermann (Saarbrücken) Introduction II

Session I Cinema Audiences and film (production) policies (all titles are working titles)


Claudia Dillmann (Barcelona), The Cinema Audiences in Germany
Marina Nicoli (Milano), The Cinema Audiences in Italy

Mariagrazia Fanchi (Milano), The popular and catholic cinema in Italy
Christian Kuchler (Aachen), The popular and catholic cinema in Germany

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Session II Traditions and influences of the Film genres


Luca Mazzei (Roma), Italian Genre Cinema
Sarah Kordecki (Babelsberg), German Genre Cinema

Session III National Self-assurances (Part 1)


Damiano Garofalo, Images of the Germans in Italy (Padua)
Philippe Cooke/Gianluca Fantoni (Glasgow), Images of Italians as „Brava Gente“ in Italy

Session IV Interpretations of the past (Fascism, Nazism, World War II)


Maurizio Zinni (Roma), Interpretations of the past in Italy
Ina Merkel (Marburg), Interpretations of the past in Germany

Wednesday, 7 march 2018

Session IV National Self-assurances (Part 2)


Daniel Jonah Wolpert (Cambridge), Persecuted and persecutors (Germany)
Bernhard Groß (Wien), National self-assurance in the German “rubble-film“

Session V Cinematic discourses and transnational perspectives


Lukas Schaefer (Hamburg), German and Italian Film critique: transnational dimensions
Kai Nowak (Leipzig), From the Hetzfilm to new orientations in cultural policy

13.00-13.30 Final comments

Comments by Martin Baumeister, Filippo Focardi, Robert Gordon, Tanja Michalsky, Andrea Minuz, Dario Pasquini


Clemens Zimmermann

Universität des Saarlandes, Prof. Dr. Clemens Zimmermann
Campus B3.1, 66123 Saarbrücken
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