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The Cinema of Eastern Germany: The View From North America

Conference sponsored by DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Held at Smith College, Northampton, MA, October 2-5, 1997

Wednesday, October 1, 1997

Film Screenings:

Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us), Dir. Wolfgang Staudte, 1946, 88 min, Introduced by Ralf Schenk, Progress Film-Verleih

Spur der Steine (Trace of Stones), Dir. Frank Beyer, 1966, 150 min

Die Schauspielerin (The Actress), Dir. Siegfried Kühn, 1988, 87 min, Introduced by Rudi Juerschik, Dramaturge

Thursday, October 2, 1997

Welcome and Introduction

  • Barton Byg, Director, DEFA Film Library
  • Ben Singer, Film Studies, Smith College
  • Tom Wartenburg, Mount Holyoke College, Chair, Five College Film Council

Opening Plenary

  • "A Harsh Metallic Voice: Modernism and Stalinism," Katie Trumpener, University of Chicago
  • "From UFA to DEFA," David Bathrick, Cornell University
  • "The Documentary-Influenced DEFA Feature Film and its International Siblings," Lothar Warneke

Film Screenings:

Berlin um die Ecke (Berlin Around the Corner), Dir. Gerhard Klein, 1965, 82 min, Introduced by Wolfgang Kohlhaase, Scriptwriter

Der Fall Gleiwitz (The Gleiwitz Case), Dir. Gerhard Klein, 1961, 70 min, Introduced by Wolfgang Kohlhaase

Apachen (Apaches), Dir. Gottfried Kolditz, 1973, 94 min, Introduced by Bernd Sahling, Independent Filmmaker

Friday, October 3, 1997

Panel: What was DEFA really? Session I

  • Greeting by John Connoly, Dean of the Faculty, Smith College
  • Moderator: Willy Riemer, University of Delaware
  • " 'Die Kunst braucht kein Feigenblatt': Art and the Artist in Konrad Wolf's Goya and Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz," Sean Allan, University of Reading, UK
  • "Defining DEFA's Historical Imaginary: The Films of Konrad Wolf," Thomas Elsaesser and Michael Wedel, University of Amsterdam
  • "Amateur Films: Self-representation of the Family," Gertrud Koch, Universität Ruhr/Bochum

Panel: What was DEFA really? Session II

  • Moderator: Marty Norden, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • "Hanns Eisler's Film Music for DEFA," Vera Stegmann, Lehigh University
  • " 'We all love Paula, but Paul is who really counts' (H. Carow): How the Socialist 'Mensch' is Constructed Through the Femininity of a Female Worker," Irene Dölling, Universität Potsdam
  • "Censorship and Self-regulation: a DEFA Case Study," Stefan Soldovieri, University of Wisconsin

Panel: Document and Everyday Life

  • "DEFA Nova: East German Youth and the Struggle of Everyday Life in Recent Documentaries," Karen Ritzenhoff, Central Connecticut State University
  • "Lebensläufe: The Children of Golzow Project," Nora Alter, University of Florida

Plenary Workshop: International Connections/Institutional Realities

  • Moderator: Eric Rentschler, University of California, Irvine / Harvard University
  • Rudi Juerschik, Former DEFA Studio Head
  • Sabine Hake, University of Pittsburgh
  • Rick McCormick, University of Minnesota
  • Daniela Berghahn, Oxford Brookes University, UK

Film Screenings:

Der Aufenthalt (Turning Point), Dir. Frank Beyer, 1982, 102 min, Introduced by Wolfgang Kohlhaase

Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula), Dir. Heiner Carow, 1973, 106 min, Introduced by Rudi Juerschik, Former DEFA Studio Head

Königskinder (Star-Crossed Lovers), Dir. Frank Beyer, 1962, 89 min.

Die Beunruhigung (Apprehension), Dir. Lothar Warneke, 1981, 100 min, Introduced by Director Lothar Warneke

Saturday, October 4, 1997

Panel: DEFA and "Otherness"

  • Moderator: Thomas Fox, University of Alabama
  • "The Image of the Jew in DEFA Films," Thomas Jung, University of Oslo
  • "DEFA and Its Others: Heiner Carow's Coming Out Comes Out for 'Others,' " Denis Sweet, Bates College
  • "Between Karl May and Karl Marx: The DEFA Indianerfilme (1965-1983)," Gerd Gemünden, Dartmouth College

Panel: Gender in DEFA

  • Moderator: Ingeborg Majer-O'Sickey, SUNY Binghamton
  • "Die Legende von Paul und Paula-The Eternally Feminine of the Anarchy of Lust?" Andrea Rinke, Kingston University, UK
  • "Subverting the Political: DEFA and the Representations of Gender in Die Beunruhigung," Ute Lischke McNab, University of Toronto
  • "Women in the Films of Helke Misselwitz," Margrit Frölich, University of Leipzig

Plenary Workshop: "Reconsidering the 50s" (Response to the day plus video clips of "non-canonical" films)

  • Moderator: Marc Silberman, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Joshua Feinstein, Emory University
  • Jennifer Good, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Sylvia Klötzer, Universität Potsdam
  • Stefan Soldovieri, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Film Screenings:

Professor Mamlock (Professor Mamlock), Dir. Konrad Wolf, 1961, 100 min, Introduced by Wolfgang Kohlhaase

Die Flucht (The Flight), Dir. Roland Gräf, 1978, Introduced by Rudi Juerschik

Das Luftschiff (The Airship), Dir. Rainer Simon, 1983, 100 min, Introduced by Director Rainer Simon

Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula), Dir. Heiner Carow, 1973, 106 min.

Sunday, October 5, 1997

Panel: DEFA Today and Tomorrow: Cultural Influence and Critical Contexts

  • "Contemporary Reception of DEFA films," Bärbel Dalichow, Filmmuseum Potsdam
  • "Teaching the DEFA Film," John Sandford, Reading University, UK

Closing Plenary

  • Leonie Naughton, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Patricia Herminghouse, University of Rochester
  • Wolfgang Klaue, Film Archivist
  • Wolfgang Kohlhaase, Scriptwriter
  • Rudi Juerschik, Dramaturge
  • Lothar Warneke, Director
  • Rainer Simon, Director
  • Bernd Sahling, Independent Filmmaker
  • Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart, New York consultant

Concluding Screening, Pleasant Street Theater, Northampton:

Jana und Jan (Jana and Jan), Dir. Helmut Dziuba, 1992, 87 min, Introduced by the film's Assistant Director Bernd Sahling

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