Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria

by Gabriele Mueller, James M. Skidmore

Series: Film and Media Studies

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1554582466
  • 9781554582259
  • 9781554582464

During the last decade, contemporary German and Austrian cinema has grappled with new social and economic realities. The “cinema of consensus,” a term coined to describe the popular and commercially oriented filmmaking of the 1990s, has given way to a more heterogeneous and critical cinema culture. Making the greatest artistic impact since the 1970s, contemporary cinema is responding to questions of globalization and the effects of societal and economic change on the individual.

This book explores this trend by investigating different thematic and aesthetic strategies and alternative methods of film production and distribution. Functioning both as a product and as an agent of globalizing processes, this new cinema mediates and influences important political and social debates. The contributors illuminate these processes through their analyses of cinema’s intervention in discourses on such concepts as “national cinema,” the effects of globalization on social mobility, and the emergence of a “global culture.” The essays illustrate the variety and inventiveness of contemporary Austrian and German filmmaking and highlight the complicated interdependencies between global developments and local specificities. They confirm a broader trend toward a more complex, critical, and formally diverse cinematic scene.

This book offers insights into the strategies employed by German and Austrian filmmakers to position themselves between the commercial pressures of the film industry and the desire to mediate or even attempt to affect social change. It will be of interest to scholars in film studies, cultural studies, and European studies.


  • Wilfrid Laurier University Press; September 2012
  • ISBN: 9781554582464
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria
  • Series: Film and Media Studies
  • Author: Gabriele Mueller (ed.); James M. Skidmore (ed.)
  • Imprint: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1554582466
  • 9781554582259
  • 9781554582464

In The Press

“‘Cinema by all means has to be dangerous!’ (279) When Barbara Pichler quotes the title of Marcus Seibert’s book of interviews with young Austrian filmmakers (2006), she also sums up the fifteen articles of this carefully edited volume, which presents a whole host of refreshing new perspectives on the most recent German-language film productions.... With its helpful abstracts, detailed notes, extensive reference lists, four-page filmography, and twelve-page index the book is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in German cinema in general and twenty-first century German cinema in particular. The articles present a forward-looking engagement with social issues that should serve as valuable reading in courses about contemporary Germany, Austria, and Europe, but also courses that want to explore European perspectives on globalization, or courses about the role of art in pursuit of social justice. They would provide a useful contrast, of course, in comparative courses with North American and other film productions. Indirectly the volume presents a strong case in favour of making all the films discussed available in region 1 format with English subtitles so that this exciting new German cinema can find the audience it deserves.”