The films of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Weimar culture

Haynes, Tom (2008) The films of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Weimar culture. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation was intended to decipher the interrelationships between the films of F.W Murnau and notions of cultural and cinematic identity in the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). The focus was on three specific texts approached chronologically. It examined relationships between art cinema, in "Nosferatu" (1922), popular cinema, in "Faust" (1927), and Hollywood filmmaking, in "Sunrise" (1929). The study used a range of primary, and in particular, secondary sources spanning the Weimar period itself up until the present day. These readings were supported by my personal textual reading of the films (as well as comparative readings of other Weimar texts) in order to locate Murnau's position in Germany's national cinema. Whilst the study is principally concerned with authorship, within the chapters themselves can be found a variety of theoretical approaches in an attempt to gain a widened perspective of the films in question. For example, it incorporated elements of art history, cultural studies, gender studies, biographical readings and structuralism. Through these approaches I have argued that Murnau's position in the Weimar cinema is remarkably complex and that his lack of conformity regarding several cinematic and cultural systems renders his work thoroughly unique yet still implicitly relevant to Weimar society. It further argued the significance that these deviations have had upon not just German cinema but filmmaking internationally.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/561

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