E 322 • German Film Comedy
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
5:00 PM-7:00 PM
This course is an examination of the role of comedy in German cinema, including theory and analysis of films 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 excerpts from Wilhelm Thiele's The Three from the Gas Station, Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise, some films made by exiles from the Third Reich, such as Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942), as well as Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair (1948), and One, Two, Three (1961). Also included will be post-WWII films such as The Captina 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 Dorrie's Men (1985), Michael Verhoeven's Nasty Girl (1990), Sonke Wortmann's Maybe...Maybe Not (1996), and either Sandra Nettelbeck's Mostly Martha (2001) or Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye Lenin (2003). The course will familiarize students with the historical and cultural background as context of the films.
Viewing of one film a week outside of class hours.
Class Participation (Contribution to discussion, questions asked, comments made) 20%
Four 1-page Précis 3% each (12%)
Two 2-page Reviews5% each (10%)
One 10-page Paper (which can be substantially revised) 28%
Mid-semester, in-class dress rehearsal exam for the final 5%
NOTE: More than 5 absences and late papers affect your grade (- 5% for each day). No late oral presentations. Save your allowable absences for emergencies.
A selection of articles (class package).