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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2004

E 322 • German Film Comedy

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32780 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
5:00 PM-7:00 PM
MEZ 1.120
EPS 4.104

Course Description

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 Lubitsch’s TROUBLE IN PARADISE); some films made by exiles from the Nazi 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), both filmed in Germany. Also included will be post-WWII 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 Dörrie’s MEN (1985), Michael Verhoeven’s NASTY GIRL (1990), Sönke 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.

Grading Policy

Class Participation 20%

Papers 50%
Four 1 page Précis: 3% each, two 2 page Reviews: 5% each, one 10-page Paper: 28%

Exams 30%
Quiz: 5%, in-class 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.


TBA; a selection of articles (class package)


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