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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Spring 2008

EUS 361 • German Film Comedy-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36465 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
5:00 PM-7:00 PM
EPS 4.104
Moeller, H

Course Description

Open to non-majors. An examination of the role of comedy in German cinema. Theory and analysis by example of films from the genre extending from the silent-film era to the present. Specific German sub-genres, such as the cabaret film and Brechtian comedy will be treated along with the traditions of slapstick, musical, romantic comedy, and the newer humorous road film and feminist comedy. The course will cover a one-reeler by the early Ernst Lubitsch, the high point around 1930 (e.g. excerpts from Wilhelm Thiele's THE THREE FROM THE GAS STATION:, and the entire Lubitschs TROUBLE IN PARADISE ); some films made by exiles from the Nazi Third Reich such as Lubitschs TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942 ), as well as Billy Wilders A FOREIGN AFFAIR (1948) and ONE, TWO, THREE (1961), both filmed in Germany. Also included will be post-WW II films such THE CAPTAIN OF KOEPENICK (1956), a New German Cinema production such as LINA BRAAKE (1976 ); and films from the comedy waves of the 1980s to present , such as Doris Dörries MEN (1985), Michael Verhoevens NASTY GIRL (1990), Sönke Wortmanns MAYBE...MAYBE NOT (1996), and either Sandra Nettelbecks MOSTLY MARTHA (2001) or Wolfgang Beckers GOOD BYE LENIN (2003). The course will familiarize students with the historical and cultural background as context of the films.

Grading Policy

Homework and Assignments: Viewing of one film a week outside of class hours. Preparation and discussion of the required films. Several precis and film reviews. Short paper to serve as a basis for class discussion. The course contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Students desiring extra credit: oral presentation of same 10 pp. paper. Grading: Class Participation 20% contribution to discussion, questions asked, comments made Papers 50% Four 1 page Précis: 3% each Two 2 page Reviews: 5% each One 10 page Paper (which can be substantially revised) 28% Exams 30% Quiz 5% mid-semester, in-class dress rehearsal exam for the Final 5% Final 20% NOTE: More than 5 absences and late paper to affect your grade (- 5% for each day). No late oral presentations. Save your allowable absences for emergencies.


A selection of articles (class package).


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