Montag, 28. Mai 2012

Neue Bücher, neue Texte (1) – A Companion to German Cinema

Ein paar Literaturhinweise in eigener Sache. Ende Februar 2012 ist im Wiley-Blackwell-Verlag mit "A Companion to German Cinema" der erste Band der neuen Reihe "The Wiley-Blackwell Companions to National Cinemas" erschienen. Auf den Seiten 287-317 findet sich ein Artikel von Alexander Zahlten (seit kurzem Assistenz-Professor in Harvard – Glückwunsch, Alex!) und mir, in dem wir uns mit dem traditionell von der deutschen Filmwissenschaft unterschlagenen, nichtsdestotrotz äußert erfolgreichen (Sub-)Genre des deutschen Sexploitationfilms beschäftigen.
Der Text ist in Englisch und behandelt die Geschichte des Genres von der Stummfilmära bis heute. Der von Terri Ginsberg und Andrea Mensch herausgegebene Hardcover-Band ist leider etwas teuer (aktuell 111,- Euro bei oder 166,- US-Dollar bei Das 600 Seiten starke Werk enthält weitere Artikel, die sich mit Aspekten des deutschen Populärfilms beschäftigen, unter anderem Texte zu DDR-Western, den "Sissi"-Filmen Ernst Marischkas (BRD 1955-57) sowie zu Verkleidungskomödien und den Verbindungen von deutschem und US-amerikanischem Populärkino

Hier oder hier ist das Inhaltsverzeichnis zu finden.

Als weitere Information der Abstract, den Alex und ich damals für unseren Text geschrieben hatten:

Alexander Zahlten & Harald Steinwender: Sexploitation Film from West Germany. In: Ginsberg, Terri / Mensch, Andrea [Eds.]: A Companion to German Cinema. Malden, MA / Oxford / Chichester, West Sussex 2012 [= The Wiley-Blackwell Companions to National Cinemas], S. 287-317.


Between the late 1960s and the late 1970s – paralleling the appearance of New German Cinema – German sexploitation film was not only an international success story but also the single most popular film genre in Germany. Although the beginning of German sexploitation is usually set at the release of "Helga – Vom Werden des menschlichen Lebens" (Erich F. Bender; 1967) – immensely successful as far away as Japan – the genre has a long but rarely considered prehistory. Eventually developing into a myriad of subgenres it also initiated intense international co-production activity. With its beginnings in the pseudo-documentary aesthetics of the Oswald Kolle and the "Schulmädchen-Report" films, producers such as Wolf C. Hartwig drew on previous experience in semi-documentary and international production to introduce foreign directors and stars; producers such as the Swiss exploitation producer Erwin C. Dietrich in turn modeled their business on these strategies. As the advent of hard-core pornography and its availability on video dried out the theatrical market for soft-core sexploitation, the introduction of private television in the early 1980s brought a very temporary resurgence in visibility and even production with films such as the late installments of the German-Israeli co-produced "Eis am Stiel" series.

This paper will map the developments in postwar German cinema that influenced the form sexploitation film took, the discursive context it appeared in, and the polyphonic discursive stance(s) it adopted. It will trace the paradoxical generational politics of the genre, its rebellious posture actually offering a workspace to many representatives of the “Papa’s Kino” the New German Cinema was rebelling against. Not only technical staff and producers, but seasoned directors such as Alfred Weidenmann and Adrian Hoven provided a degree of thematic, narrative and formal continuity that makes the historically situated discursive dynamics of the films all the more visible. Analysis of the integration of a semi-documentary form, the parodic twists on the Heimatfilm iconography in the Lederhosen series of producer Alois Brummer, the crime-film form in the St. Pauli series or even influences of the Nouvelle Vague in the films of Maran Gosov will provide a perspective on sexploitation film as the transformative site of a discursive shift rather than a taxonomically static generic formation. A further analysis of the transnational flows of style, narrative, labor, capital and societal discourse German sexploitation film participated in will enable a view on the ambivalent national/international identity discourses these films waged in the midst of the cold war and heightened inter-generational tension. What were the strategic choices made by the only film genre after the late 1960s to still integrate a wide range of audiences in Germany? Which continuities were picked up on, how where they adapted and transformed? What was the filmic, economic, political, and media context these films had to position themselves towards? How did they not only make certain arguments, but actually change the way films in Germany made arguments? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this article.

(Copyright des Abstracts: Harald Steinwender / Alexander Zahlten)

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