Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab - Neue Lehre. Neues Lernen

Berlin in Film - Film in Berlin

Taught by Dr. Dorothea Löbbermann

Tuesday, 12:00 - 14:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Course taught in English (with parts in German, depending on language level)



Ever since in 1895 the Skladanowsky Brothers showed the first moving picture to a paying audience here, Berlin has had a central place in German cinema – both as a site of production, and as an object in film.

This course will explore the history of film in and about Berlin from its beginnings and its first peak in the Weimar Republic, through a discussion of fascist film politics to an overview over the developments in East and West Berlin to contemporary representations of the unified and multicultural city. We will explore the highly divergent uses that film directors have made of the city – through the selection of locations, the aesthetics of their visual dramatization by the camera and the editing, as well as through their emplotment – and the different interpretations of the city that the films perform. We will detect what kinds of problems – social, ethnic and political tensions of the city – the films identify (and how they do this), as well as analyze celebrations of the “old” and the “new” Berlin.


Class Material

Films are available and can be watched at the Mediothek of HU’s Sprachenzentrum (Dorotheenstraße 56). Opening hours: MON-THU: 10-19h, FRI: 10-18h.

A Course Reader is available at SprintOut Copy shop, Georgenstraße 190 (S-Bahn-Bogen). Ask for the name of this course and have it printed for you.

Possible additional material will be made available on a Moodle site. Password: berlinfilm


Class Requirements

Response Paper

• You will write two response papers during the course (each around 1500-2000 words in length) on a film we discuss in the seminar.

• Please sign up for your selections during the first class meetings.

• Every response paper has the following goals:

1) Identify, in your own opinion, the key scene or passage of the film in question. Justify your choice and describe the meaning of this particular scene or passage for the film in its entirety.

2) Identify (at least) one aesthetic element of the scene of your choice and set it in relation with your interpretation of the scene.

3) Put your interpretation in dialogue with one secondary text, either about your film, or about film in general (can be from the reader, or independently researched).

• Email you response paper to me one day prior to the discussion of the film in class (Deadline: Monday 20:00 h)

• Present your scene and its interpretation in class. Your presentation should be well-structured and engage your audience, e.g. through a discussion question, but should not exceed five minutes.