The German film history is part of the international film culture . It ranges from technical pioneering achievements to the early cinematic works of art of silent film and newly established genres to propaganda films, homeland films, auteur cinema, popular box office hits and European co-productions. The production of television films and series, advertising films, documentaries, cartoons and music videos is also part of filmmaking in Germany.
1895–1918: Pioneering days - from cinema to film industry
In Germany, film history began in the year film was even born: even before the Lumière brothers were shown for the first time in Paris on December 28, 1895 , the Skladanowsky brothers showed short films on a dissolve projector in the Wintergarten Palace in Berlin on November 1, 1895. However, its elaborate technology could not compete with the more practical device of the Lumières, which could be used for both recording and projection. Other well-known German film pioneers were Guido Seeber and Oskar Messter .
The novel cinematography was initially an attraction for the “higher classes”; however, the novelty quickly wore off - trivial short films became fairground attractions for petty bourgeoisie and workers. In order to keep the audience enthusiastic about the cinema, some film producers tried to appeal to the audience's thirst for sensation. Exemplary in this regard were the films by Joseph Delmont , who shot “wild predators” in Berlin studios and thus achieved worldwide fame.
The stalls in which cinema was held at that time were called somewhat contemptuously in the vernacular "Kintopp". Filmmakers interested in art tried to counteract this with lengthy plays based on literary models: the first artistic films were made after 1910, for example The Student of Prague (1913) by Reinhardt actor and director Paul Wegener . Another pioneer of German film was the versatile Ernst Lubitsch . Also influenced by Max Reinhardt, he first directed two- and three-act films, but after 1918 mainly precisely staged chamber plays. Before 1914, however, many foreign films were imported, especially Danish and Italian art films were in high demand, there were no language barriers in silent films. The desire of the public for other films with specific actors also created in Germany the phenomenon of movie stars, the actresses Henny Porten and from Denmark coming Asta Nielsen were among the first stars. The audience's desire for sequels to certain films stimulated the production of film series (serials); detective films were particularly popular - this is where director Fritz Lang began his brilliant career.
The boycott of French films during the war, for example, left a noticeable gap, and in some cases film screenings had to be supplemented or replaced by variety shows. By 1916 there were already 2000 permanent venues in the German Reich. As early as 1917, with the establishment of Universum Film (UFA), the massive and semi-state concentration of the German film industry began, also as a reaction to the very effective use of the new medium by the Allied war opponents for propaganda purposes . Under military aegis, so-called “patriotic films” were made, which in terms of propaganda and the ostracism of opponents of the war were, in part, tantamount to corresponding stripes by the Allies. The audience came to the cinemas more because of the entertainment films, which were therefore also funded. In this way, the German film industry grew into the largest in Europe.
1918–1933: Classical silent films and early talkies
The German film industry emerged stronger from the First World War. German film production began to soar as early as 1919. Five hundred films were completed that year. The 3,000 German cinemas recorded over 350 million visitors despite the prevailing inflation and poverty. Due to the weak currency of Germany, which was suffering from post-war consequences such as inflation, exports of films also flourished. Most of the German film industry was also commercially oriented. Entertainment, adventure and crime films were made non-stop. Relevant Film History, however, only that small part of the former production volumes, which also artistic, aesthetic and partly socio-political claims should satisfy is: movies, now the Public Information Film , the New Objectivity , the Chamber of feature film and the expressionist film to be assigned.
Publicists like Albert Hellwig warned emphatically against “trash films”. Article 118 of the Weimar Constitution therefore specifically pointed out that the law could provide provisions that deviate from the freedom of censorship for light games. The Reichslichtspielgesetz of 1920 finally introduced proper state censorship . It was necessary to check whether the film could endanger public order and security, violate religious sentiments, have a brutal or demoralizing effect, or endanger German reputation or Germany’s relations with foreign states. These editions were all the more remarkable as not only the press but also the theater remained uncensored.
However, there were also engaging entertainment films. For example, Ernst Lubitsch succeeded in staging his large-scale production “ Madame Dubarry ” in 1919 with the rising stars of the German film Pola Negri and Emil Jannings . The fantastic film also achieved great success in Germany with “ The Golem, How He Came into the World ” (1920) by Paul Wegener . The internationally successful film ran for months in sold-out houses from the United States to China .
From 1919, the German expressionist film achieved world fame. “ The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ”(1919) by Robert Wiene . In this film, the expressionist art style, which had been propagated by the artist group " Brücke " since 1905 , was first reflected in the film. Inclined, bent and distorted walls, backdrops and decorative objects made the film about an insane murderer a gruesomely romantic experience. The expressive backdrops also required more expressive modes of expression from the actors, which was mostly just beginning. Convincing in this respect was Fritz Kortner , who was able to show his skills for the first time in the Austrian Beethoven portrait The Martyr of His Heart , and then expressively in Leopold Jessner's “ Hintertreppe ” (1921) or Robert Wienes “ Orlac's hands ” (1924) depicted.
In “ Nosferatu, a symphony of horror ” in 1922 , Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau expanded the pronounced contrast between light and shadow from a visual effect to a dramaturgical structural element. Expressionist film, born out of necessity of having to work with improvisational imagination rather than a big budget, seemed to be a passing fad. However, he strongly influenced the somber aesthetic of later horror and gangster films worldwide. Directors such as Jean Cocteau and Ingmar Bergman were also inspired here. However, the film critics - see Lotte Eisner and Siegfried Kracauer - retrospectively attested that the early German art film also had apocalyptic and authoritarian tendencies.
Succession style was the more socially critical coined new objectivity film, for example realized by Georg Wilhelm Pabst ( " The joyless lane ", 1925; " Pandora's Box ", 1929). Other important films of the New Objectivity in Germany are " The adventures of a ten-mark note " (1926), whose screenplay was written by the great Hungarian film theorist Béla Balázs , and " Menschen am Sonntag " (1930), in which Billy Wilder , Edgar G. Ulmer , Fred Zinnemann and the brothers Curt and Robert Siodmak , several young talents in directing and scriptwriting participated.
The chamber play film was also influenced by expressionism with its dark elements, delusions and dreams. He told stories of the impoverishment of the petty bourgeoisie, the prevailing poverty and the psychology of everyday life. The most important works in this regard were “ Schherd ” (1921), “Backstairs” (1921), “ Sylvester ” (1923) and “ The Last Man ” (1924). The latter film is not least due to its " unleashed camera " - Karl Freund used the technique of tracking shots or "camera flight" developed by him , which gives the film an unprecedented visual dynamic - as a brilliant achievement of German silent film.
At times more than 230 film companies were producing in Berlin alone , new studios in Babelsberg made even larger film projects possible: 36,000 extras took part in Fritz Lang's “ Metropolis ” (1927) cinema spectacle , and cameraman and animation technician Eugen Schüfftan performed his revolutionary mirror trick for the first time Commitment. Together with his wife Thea von Harbou , who often wrote the scripts for his films, Fritz Lang created several masterpieces of silent film. For example the socially critical crime film Dr. Mabuse, the player (1922) or the monumental, two-part epic epic “ The Nibelungs ” (1924).
From the mid-1920s, huge cinema palaces with 1,600 and more seats were opened. The German silent film became an important export product and source of foreign currency for the impoverished war loser Germany. The devaluation of the local currency favored the temporary creative and economic prosperity of German cinema. The German film industry maneuvered between glory and misery; also because of the macroeconomic unstable conditions and ruinous large-scale productions. As in other industries, spectacular bankruptcies (in some cases even with political backgrounds, see the Phoebus affair ), takeovers and concentration processes have been observed (see Parufamet ). Not a few of the most capable German filmmakers - such as B. 1923 the comedy genius Ernst Lubitsch - early to America. In addition: so-called asphalt and moral films took up “disreputable” topics (abortion, prostitution, homosexuality, nude culture, drug addiction, etc.) and attracted criticism from conservative circles and censorship. Also documentary and experimental film flourished, see for example the work of Lotte Reiniger , Oskar Fischinger , Robert Siodmak or Walter Ruttmann . The mountain film genre represented a novel mixture of nature and feature films . The Düsseldorf daredevil Harry Piel realized early varieties of action film .
The controversial “ Prussian films ” enjoyed great popularity among the political right, and the “Third Reich” was to continue this series. UFA had become part of the conservative Hugenberg Group in 1927 . On the left, the “people's film movement ” developed with Prometheus Film, founded at the end of 1925 as the largest “left” film company in the Weimar Republic. This created classics such as the communist film " Kuhle Wampe " (1932) about the tent colony of the same name on the outskirts of Berlin. Werner Hochbaum is one of the noteworthy directors on the left-wing spectrum , who, after two election films for the Social Democrats, made his first feature film, "Brothers" (1929), which is a realistic portrayal of the dreary living and working situation of the Hamburg proletariat.
Films with socialist ideas have had a difficult time up to now, since producers and financiers themselves were usually among the better off and had no interest in supporting social revolutionary protests. But Prometheus also had problems with censorship, especially since the state film inspection agency was already in German national hands. While right-wing conservative films such as Gustav Ucicky's The Flute Concert of Sans-souci (1930) enjoyed great audiences, anti-authoritarian films such as the pacifist American film classic In the West Nothing New (1930) were boycotted by the National Socialists and subsequently banned. The popular travel films showed exotic locations that an average earner could only see on screen at the time.
With the change from silent to sound films in the 1920s until around 1936, the film world experienced an enormous change. If by then the silent film had developed into a formally superior art movement, the sound film first had to experience an enormous artistic regression. Filmed speaking scenes replaced the tried and tested combination of expressive actors, visual effects, décor, camera work and montage, which instead of the text conveyed the content and the message of a film, which meant that subtitles were hardly necessary in the films. At the same time, the sound film meant a massive restriction of the sales market for German productions, which now had to be limited to the German-speaking area. The synchronization was not yet technically possible and should films be shown in foreign countries, they had in the local language and be filmed with accordingly changed line simultaneously with the German version - known as version films . Nevertheless, the early German sound film (1929 to 1933) was able to build on earlier successes and in some cases even trump them. Works like Josef von Sternberg's “ The Blue Angel ” (1930), such as Phil Jutzi's “ Berlin - Alexanderplatz ” (1931) or the film version of Brecht's “ Threepenny Opera ” by Pabst (1931) were created. Fritz Lang shot other masterpieces, including " M " (1931). Despite - or perhaps because of - the global economic crisis , the movie theaters were well frequented at the time. In 1932 there were already 3800 sound film cinemas.
1933–1945: Film under National Socialism
When Hitler came to power and the establishment of the National Socialist dictatorship, production changed: Over 1,500 filmmakers emigrated - including Fritz Lang , Marlene Dietrich , Peter Lorre , Max Ophüls , Elisabeth Bergner , Friedrich Hollaender , Erich Pommer , and later Detlef Sierck (see also the list of well-known German-speaking emigrants and exiles (1933–1945) ). Because of the anti-Semitic "Aryanization" policy of the National Socialists, film artists of Jewish origin had to give up their work in the German Reich. Some artists, such as Kurt Gerron , did not escape the regime and were later murdered in concentration camps.
Only those films were approved that appeared harmless to the regime. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, entertainment films (" Die Feuerzangenbowle ", 1944), perseverance and propaganda films (" Jud Süß ", 1940; films on the subject of Frederick the Great , regularly with Otto Fee ) were made accordingly . Offensive Nazi propaganda - cf. z. B. the pseudo-documentary film " The Eternal Jew " - was pushed aside in favor of glamorous and, for the first time, colorful UFA diversion: The audience was able to distract themselves from the mostly dreary everyday life in totalitarian Germany, and later also from the horror of the " total war ". In addition, many entertainment films also propagated values such as devotion to fate and the leader principle . From 1942 to 1944, at the height of the bombing war, the approximately 7,000 cinemas of the Greater German Reich, including Austria and territories that were later occupied, reached annual audiences of over a billion.
There were, however, works that did not quite correspond to the Nazi image of man and the ideology of the rulers, see “ Viktor and Viktoria ” (1933), “ The Muzzle ” (1938) and the films by Helmut Käutner and Curt Goetz . The “ soundtracks ” of many music films were also livelier than the National Socialists' idea of national folklore actually allowed (cf. Peter Kreuder and others). But courageous filmmakers were always threatened by repression and censorship. Most of the time, official censorship was unnecessary; in 1933 the film industry had offered itself to the Nazi movement with the production of the propaganda film " Hitlerjunge Quex ", as it were, with the production of the propaganda film . In 1934, preventive censorship of films and scripts was introduced, and in 1936 film criticism was finally banned.
In mid-1936, a law on the “showing of foreign films in the German Reich” gave the Nazi Propaganda Ministry sole decision-making authority over permission to show. German revue, musical and feature films had to compensate for the lack of foreign, especially American films after the introduction restriction. From 1937, the film industry was completely under state control. The Nazi leadership declared the production of entertainment goods to be a national goal.
The importance attached to cinema by the regime was also increased by the maintenance of elaborate film projects - e.g. B. Production of a German feature film in color still in 1943 - and large-scale productions practically until the end of the war clearly (see " Kolberg "). Technically innovative and at the same time politically fatal, Leni Riefenstahl achieved with her Nazi party rally and Olympic documentaries for both documentaries and sports films (1936–1938). The works were characterized by the seductive mass aesthetics of totalitarianism.
1945–1990: Film in a divided country
Postwar period and occupation
After the Second World War , the economic framework for film production changed, because the Allies confiscated and controlled the assets of the UFA -Film holding company. As part of the policy of de-carteling the German economy that was pursued in the first post-war years, they ordered that it cease its production activities. To prevent a renewed economic concentration in the film industry, they issued production licenses to a large number of medium-sized and small companies in the following years. As part of the occupation statute that came into force on August 21, 1949 , the Allies stipulated, among other things, that the Federal Republic of Germany may not impose any import restrictions for foreign films in order to protect its own film industry against competition from abroad. This provision goes back to intensive lobbying by the American MPAA . Because the big Hollywood studios themselves got into trouble at this time due to the emergence of television and were urgently dependent on income from the export business. These occupation regulations were updated in the following years through bilateral agreements between the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany .
As part of the re- education, many Germans saw shocking film images of the Nazi concentration camps for the first time. On the other hand, foreign feature films were now accessible again in Germany. Films with Charlie Chaplin and US melodramas were particularly popular with viewers . Nevertheless, the share of American films in the immediate post-war period and the 1950s was still comparatively low: the market share of German films was 40% during this time, while American films with twice as many films on distribution only had a market share of 30 % came. This only changed in the 1960s (see Schneider: Film, Fernsehen & Co., pp. 35, 42 and 44).
Most German films of the immediate post-war period are referred to as rubble films and deal with life in largely destroyed post-war Germany and with coming to terms with the past. They were strongly influenced by Italian neorealism and often documentary oriented. The first German post-war film was Wolfgang Staudte's film “ The Murderers Are Among Us ” from 1946. Another well-known rubble film was “ Liebe 47 ” (1949, director: Wolfgang Liebeneiner ) based on the drama “ Outside in front of the door ” by Wolfgang Borchert . In 1946 the Italian director Roberto Rossellini shot the film “ Germany in the Year Zero ” in bombed-out Berlin on original locations and with amateur actors.
West German film in the 1950s
After the short interlude of the “Trümmerfilms”, in West Germany the focus was again on entertainment in the 1950s, especially the Heimatfilm , the hit film and war films . Other typical genres of the time were operetta and doctor films as well as social comedies.
The success of German Heimatfilme began with the first German post-war color film " Schwarzwaldmädel " (1950), based on the operetta of the same name by August Neidhart and Leon Jessel . Directed by Hans Deppe . Sonja Ziemann and Rudolf Prack represented the dream couple in this film. Other successful homeland films were “ Grün ist die Heide ” (1951), also by Hans Deppe, “ When the evening bells are ringing ” (1951) by Alfred Braun , “ At the fountain in front of the gate "(1952) by Hans Wolff ," Der Forster vom Silberwald "(1954) by Alfons Stummer," Das Schweigen im Walde "(1955) by Helmut Weiss and" Das Mädchen vom Moorhof "(1958) by Gustav Ucicky . In total, more than 300 films of this genre were made in the 1950s. The film distributor Ilse Kubaschewski , who is considered the grande dame of German post-war film, is one of the reasons for the success of Heimatfilm . In 1949 she founded Gloria Filmverleih. Distribution companies were financially strong and essential for the financing of films in the post-war years. Ilse Kubaschewski rose to one of the most important personalities in the German film business within a few years. “Green is the heather” was her breakthrough . Characteristic for Heimat films of the 1950s were a melodramatic plot, which mostly included a love story, as well as comic or tragic mix-ups. There were often musical interludes. The action took place in remote but spectacular landscapes such as the Black Forest , the Alps and the Lüneburg Heath that were undestroyed by the Second World War . In particular, conservative values such as marriage and family are emphasized. Women are usually only portrayed positively as housewives and mothers . The authorities must not be questioned, and marriages were only possible within the same social group.
Many homeland films of this time were remakes of old UFA productions, which, however, were now largely freed from the blood-and-soil gravity of the models from the Nazi era. The Heimatfilm, long ignored by serious critics, has been seriously investigated for several years to analyze early West German sensitivities.
With the rearmament of West Germany in 1955, a popular wave of war films began. Examples were 08/15 (1954) by Paul May based on the novel of the same name by Hans Hellmut Kirst , Canaris (1954) by Alfred Weidenmann and The Doctor of Stalingrad (1958) by Géza von Radványi based on a novel by Heinz G. Konsalik . The problematic stripes showed the German soldiers of the Second World War as brave, apolitical fighters who had actually always been against it. Otherwise, coming to terms with the past was largely exhausted in a few films about the military resistance against Hitler . The film Der 20. Juli (1955) by director Falk Harnack should be mentioned here, who himself was active as a resistance fighter during the time of National Socialism and belongs to the group of the White Rose .
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The third important genre in West German cinema in the 1950s was the hit film , such as “ Love, Dance and 1000 Schlager ” (1954) by Paul Martin , “ Peter Shoots the Bird ” (1959) by Géza von Radványi or “ Wenn die Conny mit dem Peter “(1958) by Fritz Umgelter , the latter a staid response from the German film industry to American youth culture and the local rock 'n' roll films. In these films, the plot was poorly worked out, it only served as a framework for vocal appearances. Mostly it was about love or gossip . Schlager films remained successful in West Germany until the 1970s.
Television (from 1954) and a missed connection to new film trends led to the crisis in West German cinema, even if there were individual quality films such as Bernhard Wicki's " Die Brücke " (1959) and controversial productions such as " Die Sünderin " (1951, with Hildegard Knef ) gave. The film “ Mädchen in Uniform ” (1958) by Géza von Radványi with Romy Schneider at a boarding school student who falls in love with her class teacher was also unusual for the time , although it was a remake of the 1931 film of the same name . Romy Schneider later emerged from the ranks of homeland film actors as a world star. One of the nominations for the Oscar for best foreign language film was Der Hauptmann von Köpenick (1956) by Helmut Käutner .
In terms of international importance, the West German film industry could no longer compete with the French, Italian or Japanese. German films were perceived as provincial abroad and sales to other countries were rather rare. Co-productions with foreign partners, which were already common between Italian and French companies at that time, were mostly rejected by the German producers.
In spite of everything, German cinema flourished in the 1950s, also known as the “cinema miracle”. The number of productions shown as well as the number of admissions to the cinema and the screens rose rapidly between 1946 and 1956. This year the Federal Republican audience reached its zenith with 817 million moviegoers.
In the summer of 2016, the German Film Institute undertook a re-evaluation of West German film from 1949–1963 at the Locarno International Film Festival in a retrospective curated by Olaf Möller under the title "Beloved and repressed". Accompanying the retrospective, the Filmmuseum publishing house published a volume edited by its director, Claudia Dillmann , and Olaf Möller, entitled: Beloved and repressed. The cinema of the young Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963.
East German film
The East German film was initially able to benefit from the fact that the infrastructure of the old UFA film studios was in the now Soviet-occupied part of Germany (area of what later became the GDR ). Feature film production therefore got underway faster than in the western sectors.
Basically, the filmmakers and the cultural politicians of the GDR, with all other differences and points of friction, united the anti-fascist engagement and the conviction to work for the "better Germany". However, "many 'leading' anti-fascists also had Stalinism in the flesh and blood." (Ralf Schenk)
The production of heroic personality cult films such as those of the " Ernst Thälmann " series (from 1954) was later abandoned.
Other well-known films by the semi-state East German DEFA monopoly were, for example, “ Der teilte Himmel ” (1964, based on Christa Wolf 's novel of the same name ), “ The Legend of Paul and Paula ” (1973), “ Solo Sunny ” (1978), “ Jakob the Liar “(1975, after Jurek Becker ). Productions that dealt critically with everyday life in the GDR were sometimes taken out of distribution by the party leadership - compare the “ Spur der Steine ” from 1966. This work was part of that almost complete annual DEFA production of contemporary films that was in a ruthless clearcut after the 11th plenum of the Central Committee of the SED in December 1965 was banned.
Well-known East German directors were, for example, Frank Beyer , Konrad Wolf and Egon Günther . After 1976, many well-known film actors left the GDR, including Angelica Domröse , Eva-Maria Hagen , Katharina Thalbach , Hilmar Thate , Manfred Krug . Armin Mueller-Stahl was even able to continue his career in Hollywood. Since the GDR also took numerous films from the West into its distribution system in the 1980s, the role of DEFA decreased more and more.
During its existence, DEFA produced not only TV films and - in some cases very good - documentaries ( Volker Koepp , Barbara and Winfried Junge and others) a total of around 750 full-length feature films for the cinema. Similar to other film nations in Eastern Europe - here z. For example, to name Czechoslovakia - the GDR cinema also had particular strengths in children's films . The youth film Seven Freckles (1978), directed by Herrmann Zschoche , was one of the most successful DEFA productions ever with 1.2 million viewers.
The cinema crisis and the "old industry"
At the end of the 1950s, dissatisfaction with German film production grew. Federal Minister of the Interior Gerhard Schröder (CDU) criticized the “misery of German filmmaking” in 1958 at the awarding of the German Film Prize and said: “Unfortunately, our hopes were disappointed”. The features section was increasingly critical. In 1961 two intensely discussed and momentous contributions were published, which passed a devastating judgment on German filmmaking: German film couldn't be better by Joe Hembus and Kunst oderkret by Walther Schmieding . In the course of the spread of televisions in private households, the number of film viewers, which had risen for years, has now stagnated and then declined. In the 1960s in particular, attendance at the cinema fell rapidly. In 1959 the number of visitors was 670.8 million, in 1969 it was only 172.2 million. Numerous cinemas had to close during this time, and people spoke of the “cinema die-off”. In response, the German manufacturers reduced the output of films. In 1955, 123 German films were produced, compared to only 56 in 1965.
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As a result of this rapid decline in visitors, a number of production and rental companies went bankrupt because their products no longer earned the production costs and therefore the banks finally refused further loans and guarantees. The most spectacular case was the bankruptcy of UFA AG in 1962. The then largest production company in West Germany was transferred to the Bertelsmann group in 1964 . The Austrian film , content, personnel and economic ties with the German film, met the same fate. After the fall of the entertainment film era and with the advancement of younger generations, Austrian and German films began to go their own way, at least in terms of content.
The cinema crisis had deeper causes. As a result of the economic miracle , there was a significant increase in the average income of the population. This also increased the opportunities for leisure time activities and they no longer focused on going to the cinema. At the same time, television became a mass medium: While only 10,000 television receivers were registered in 1953, their number rose to 7 million in 1962 (see Schneider: Film, Fernsehen & Co., p. 49 and Hoffmann: Am Ende Video - Video at the end ?, p. 69f).
Most of the West German films made in the 1960s were genre works (western, agent, sex films). There were also film series based on authors such as Karl May ( Winnetou ) and Edgar Wallace , later the so-called " Lümmelfilme " about student pranks and the series of films based on Johannes Mario Simmel . The central producer behind the Wallace and Winnetou films was Horst Wendlandt .
The first Federal German Edgar Wallace film was " The Frog with the Mask " (1958) by Harald Reinl . " Die Bande des Schreckens " (1960) and " Der eheimliche Mönch " (1965), which Harald Reinl also directed, as well as " Der Zinker " (1963), " Der Hexer " (1964) and " Der Monk with the Whip ”(1967). The last three films were directed by Alfred Vohrer , who is considered a classic Wallace director. In the total of more than 30 films, the same actors appeared who portrayed very specific, clichéd characters: the seductive Karin Dor , the seedy Klaus Kinski , the good inspectors Heinz Drache and Joachim Fuchsberger , the quirky Eddi Arent , the opaque Elisabeth Flickenschildt, etc. .
The characters do not develop further in the films, good and bad are immovably opposed to each other. In contrast to the thriller, tension is mainly created by external settings such as clouds of fog, dungeons, eerie corridors, old mansions or owl calls . The films usually also contain a good pinch of humor and a love story.
While the Wallace films showed mostly domestic actors, the Karl May films adorned themselves with foreign leading actors. Examples of the Karl May films are: " The Treasure in the Silver Lake " (1961), " Winnetou " (1963), " Winnetou II " (1964), " Winnetou III " (1965); Harald Reinl directed all of them. Karl May films by Alfred Vohrer are " Unter Vultures " (1964) and " Old Surehand " (1965), each with the Englishman Stewart Granger as Old Surehand . The Frenchman Pierre Brice gave the noble native American of West German cinema , Old Shatterhand was portrayed by the American Lex Barker . In the DEFA Indian films of the GDR , the Yugoslav Gojko Mitić played the main roles.
The films were standardized and cheap to produce. Nevertheless, they no longer dominated the German cinemas. Because domestic entertainment films, which were still very successful in the 1950s, were now avoided by many moviegoers, who now preferred American films. In the meantime, the audience had become so used to the technically and content-intensive Hollywood productions that films from other countries usually only had a chance if they showed something that was impossible for Hollywood films due to the then very strict American censorship regulations. This means that these films had to be either more violent or more sexual than the usual Hollywood films (cf. Ungureit: Das Film-Fernseh-Unfall, p. 87).
As an example of films that were considered very violent at the time, some spaghetti westerns can be mentioned. They were often co-productions, with German companies also participating. For example, the western classic “ For a few dollars more ” (1965) was shot with the participation of the German Constantin Film and the actor Klaus Kinski also played in it .
During this time also emerged educational films of Oswalt Kolle and the numerous sex of the report series , such as the " Schoolgirl Report: What parents did not think possible " (1970). The films were economically successful again, but were rather rejected by the film critics . At this time, the reputation of traditional German film producers ("old branch") was at its lowest point.
The New German Film
The socially critical “New German Film” tried to differentiate itself from “Papa's Cinema” - that is, the series cinema of the 1950s and 1960s. The Oberhausen Manifesto , published in 1962 , in which a group of young filmmakers claimed to make a radically new cinema from now on, is considered to be the hour of birth . The manifesto states: “The collapse of conventional German film is finally removing the economic foundation for a mindset that we have rejected. This gives the new film the chance to come to life. [...] We declare our claim to create the new German feature film. This new film needs new freedoms. Freedom from customary industry conventions. Freedom from the influence of commercial partners. Freedom from tutelage by commercial interest groups. We have specific intellectual, formal and economic ideas about the production of the new German film. Together we are ready to take economic risks. The old film is dead. We believe in the new one. ” The manifesto was signed by Haro Senft , Alexander Kluge , Edgar Reitz , Peter Schamoni and Franz Josef Spieker , among others . Volker Schlöndorff , Werner Herzog , Jean-Marie Straub , Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder later joined this group as the second generation .
The members of the group saw themselves as auteur filmmakers and had the right to control all artistic activities of a film production such as directing , camera work and editing . A film was primarily understood as an individual work of art by the respective director. In particular, commercially motivated interventions by producers or production companies were vehemently rejected. The “aesthetic left” ( Enno Patalas ) of the new film can even be seen as a kind of forerunner and stimulator of the student movement of the 1960s . In 1965 the Young German Film Board of Trustees was founded to directly promote new talent. Influences were the Italian neorealism , the French new wave and the British free cinema . Traditions of Hollywood cinema with its well-established genres were also eclectically taken up and quoted.
The young German directors hardly had a chance to work in commercial German film production. Instead, television offered itself as a partner. In particular, broadcast slots such as “ Das kleine Fernsehspiel ” or “ Tatort ” also offered up-and-coming talents opportunities to test their skills. However, the broadcasters used to require a television premiere of the film they financed in full or in large part: Schlöndorff's film “ The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People in Kombach ” was first broadcast on television in 1971 before it was released in cinemas.
This situation changed with the 1974 film-television agreement concluded between ARD , ZDF and the Filmförderungsanstalt . In particular, it considerably expanded the material possibilities for New German Film. This agreement, which has been extended again and again to this day, provides that the television broadcasters make a certain amount of money available each year to support films that are suitable for both cinema and television broadcasting. The total volume of payments by public broadcasters fluctuates between 4.5 and 12.94 million euros per year. The film-television agreement stipulates that theatrical release should last 24 months and that the films may only then be shown on television. The video or DVD evaluation may only take place 6 months after the cinema premiere. These provisions gave German feature films, especially New German Films, the chance to be successful at the box office before they were broadcast on television (see Blaney: Symbiosis or Confrontation ?, p. 204f).
With the new movement, German film regained some international importance for the first time since the 1920s and early 1930s. First and foremost among critics and less among the audience. The following works are particularly often regarded as typical of New German Film: “ Farewell to Yesterday ” (1966) is considered the artistic breakthrough of the new generation. He received numerous prizes at international festivals and tells the story of Anita G., a German Jew, born in 1937, who was banned from attending school during the Nazi era , did not find her way in the GDR and came to the West in 1957. Ulrich Schamoni’s film “ It ” (1966) deals with the topic of abortion and the relationship crisis of a young couple. He took up taboo subjects at the time. “ To the point, sweetheart ” (1968) by May Spils is an entertaining comedy about several young people from Schwabing . It achieved cult status because it was one of the first films to deal with the lifestyle of young people at the time of the 1968 movement.
“ Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria ” (1969) by Peter Fleischmann is a “progressive Heimatfilm”. He describes the discrimination against a homosexual in a fictional Bavarian village. In the film " The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum " (1975), the terrorism hysteria of the 1970s and the role of the mass media are discussed. The film won numerous awards and was also commercially successful. Other important films were " The Goalie's Fear at the Penalty " (1972) and " Paris, Texas " (1984), both by Wim Wenders and " Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes " (1972) by Werner Herzog. This film deals with the search of the Spaniards for the legendary Eldorado . Klaus Kinski played the main role, the megalomaniac conquistador Don Lope de Aguirre .
Rainer Werner Fassbinder is considered the most important German auteur filmmaker of the 1970s. He was strongly influenced by the theater, for which he wrote several plays himself. Fassbinder often described unhappy love relationships that fail because of the repressive and prejudiced relationships. With the engagement of stars of the German cinema tradition, he also pursued a reconciliation of new and old German films. His most important films were " Merchants of the Four Seasons ", shown simultaneously in cinema and television in 1971, " Fear Eats Soul " (1974) and " The Marriage of Maria Braun " (1979). In 1977, together with other directors, he produced the film collage Deutschland im Herbst .
The works of Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass often provided literary models for the new German film (cf., for example, The lost honor of Katharina Blum and The Tin Drum from 1979). In connection with the new German film, feminist film also developed, represented by directors Helma Sanders-Brahms , Helke Sander and Margarethe von Trotta , for example .
An underground or avant-garde film scene, which was artistically and in some cases also politically active, but rather unknown to the mass audience , also developed in the country. Just mention the Straub and Huillet (from France) who shot early in Germany , later Werner Nekes , Heinz Emigholz and Harun Farocki .
After the new (West) German film was able to achieve some of its goals (establishment of state film funding, Oscar 1980 for The Tin Drum and others), it showed signs of fatigue towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, albeit with protagonists like Werner Herzog , Werner Schroeter , Volker Schlöndorff , Edgar Reitz or Wim Wenders continued to produce successfully.
In particular, the German autumn in 1977 brought an end to the social optimism that had characterized the 1970s. Many directors of the new German film also claimed to depict social reality in their films and to question it critically. Like other left-wing intellectuals, they came under general suspicion of terrorism. This social development also led to the fact that the awarding bodies and television broadcasters hardly ever approved projects that were unusual or radical in terms of content or aesthetics. As a compromise acceptable to all, literary films dominated at this time, which are somewhat disparagingly referred to as "Studienratskino". Examples of this are films such as Grete Minde (1980) by Heidi Genée based on Theodor Fontane , Mädchenkrieg (1977) by Bernhard Sinkel / Alf Brustellin based on Manfred Bieler , Heinrich (1977) by Helma Sanders-Brahms based on letters from Heinrich von Kleist and Belcanto (1977) by Robert van Ackeren , based on Thomas Mann .
In the 1980s, a new generation of producers and directors tried to break out of this constellation and produce films in a different way. Large-scale productions such as “ Das Boot ”, “ Die Unendliche Geschichte ” or “ Der Name der Rose ” were created in the Bavariastudios in Munich in particular . Such productions were often shot in English and tailored to sell internationally. This was evident, for example, in the selection of actors and directors. These films were often co-productions with companies in other European countries. As a producer of this type of film, v. a. Bernd Eichinger .
Examples of such large-scale projects in the 1980s are Berlin Alexanderplatz , (1980, series, director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder ), Das Boot, (1981, film and series, director: Wolfgang Petersen ), Fitzcarraldo (1982, director: Werner Herzog ), The Neverending Story (1984, director: Wolfgang Petersen), Momo (1985, director: Johannes Schaaf ) and The Name of the Rose (1986, director: Jean-Jacques Annaud ).
Herbert Achternbusch's work Das Gespenst from 1982 brought about a turning point for German auteur films . This film was produced on the basis of a premium of 300,000 DM promised by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. After protests, the new Federal Minister of the Interior, Friedrich Zimmermann , canceled the outstanding sum of 75,000 DM. Zimmermann then implemented significant changes in the award of the federal film prizes. Among other things, the prize money for the next project should only make up 30% of the total production costs. In the Bundestag session on October 24, 1983, Zimmermann declared that he would not finance any films that no one except the producer wanted to see. This measure had serious consequences for German auteur films, since in future hardly any filmmaker would be able to pre-finance or even bring in the remaining 70% of a production.
|year||Film visits in millions||Canvases in Germany|
An attempt was made to find other sources of funding for films in order to become more independent of the influence of television and the funding bodies. The most important sources of finance were the (if possible) worldwide advance sales of cinema, television and video rights. Committees and television stations have also contributed funds to these films, although their share was lower than was common in the 1970s. One example of this is the financing of the film “Das Boot”. The share of the funds from public institutions makes up only 23% of the total costs.
Other box office hits in the 1980s were the Otto films (from 1985) and the road movie “ Theo against the rest of the world ” (1980). The controversially discussed film " Christiane F. - We children from Bahnhof Zoo " (1981) is set in the milieu of underage heroin addicts who finance their addiction through prostitution .
The way towards the commercialization and internationalization of West German film was paved by the fact that the new German film was also internationally - at least artistically - successful in the 1970s. In particular the film “Das Boot”, but also some of the other big films, were economically quite successful. However, they were not able to fundamentally redesign the German cinema landscape. The last of these big films, " The Cat " (1988, directed by Dominik Graf ) and " Die Sieger " (1994, directed by Dominik Graf), were commercial failures.
The reasons for the failure of this strategy are manifold and can be seen, among other things, in the fact that these films ultimately could not keep up with the increasingly complex Hollywood productions. Therefore, they could not permanently change the preferences of the audience, who were used to American large-scale productions.
In the 1980s, the number of visitors again fell significantly and numerous cinemas had to close. There was a restructuring of the media landscape, which initially weakened the position of the cinema. The range of films on offer for the population was considerably expanded by the private television stations that were now founded and the then new medium of video . As a result, many cinema owners divided their large halls into several small cinemas. These were called box theaters. This had the advantage that several films could be shown at the same time and thus more viewers could be attracted.
In 1984, as part of the Ludwigshafen cable pilot project, private broadcasters, i.e. RTL + and Sat.1 at the time, could be received in Germany for the first time. In the first few years of its existence, feature films made up a large proportion of their programming, they were particularly broadcast during prime time. In order to prevent audience losses, the public television broadcasters ARD and ZDF also showed significantly more feature films than before in the early 1980s . From 1985 onwards they reduced their broadcasting of feature films again due to massive pressure from private broadcasters, cinema owners and conservative politicians (cf. Karstens / Schütte 1999).
In the 1980s, the video recorder also became a mass consumer item. Consumers were no longer dependent on the rigid program grid of television and cinema. In addition, there were many more films available to them as purchase or rental videos than were currently being broadcast in the cinema or television. Now, all of a sudden, genres such as splatter or porn films were available that had not or only rarely been seen in the FRG (cf. Zielinski 1994). The subsequent political debate about violence in the media led to heightened protection of minors in video stores and television . Nevertheless, the porn film in particular left its niche existence. Over 20 percent of all Germans, mainly men up to the age of 30, regularly consume works of this genre.
1990 – today: beginnings of all-German film
Departure and stagnation at the same time
|year||Film visits in millions||Canvases|
In the 1990s, cinema attendance increased again in Germany for the first time in a long time. The statistics benefited from the new audience potential on the territory of the former GDR. In addition, there was a boom due to numerous, newly opened multiplex cinemas , which, unlike the box-type cinemas of the 1980s, placed great emphasis on wide screens and high sound quality using surround sound methods . While American films were made more and more elaborate in the 1990s and they had to offer appropriate viewing values, there was no comparable development with German films. That is why the success of German films at the box office remained limited on the whole. The vast majority of viewers preferred American films. Significantly fewer films were shown on television than in the 1980s. Because of Leo Kirch's de facto film trade monopoly, the public broadcasters barely had access to attractive American films. As part of the film-television agreement for film productions, the private broadcasters invested more in their own formats. Numerous new talents use the "private" as a springboard to film. The newly established private music channels helped the production of German music videos to an upswing.
At the beginning of the 1990s there was a boom in German romantic comedies. A forerunner of this wave was the film " Men " (1985, director: Doris Dörrie ). Films such as “ Alone Among Women ” (1991), “ Make up! "(1993, directed by Katja von Garnier )," The Moving Man "(1994, directed by Sönke Wortmann ) or" Stadt talk "(1995, directed by Rainer Kaufmann ) were very successful. The actress Katja Riemann in particular was featured in many of these relationship comedies . Another filmmaker of the new generation is Detlev Buck . In his comedy " We can also be different ... " (1993) he satirically treats problems of the reunification of the Federal Republic and the GDR. His most successful comedy to date was " Karniggels " (1991).
In addition to the comedies, a number of films were made in the 1990s that - in the tradition of the new German film - attempted to reflect social reality. Examples of such films are: “ Winter Sleeper ” (1997, directed by Tom Tykwer ), “ Life is a Construction Site ” (1997, directed by Wolfgang Becker ) and “ The Warrior and the Empress ” (2000). Most of these films, however, have not been particularly successful commercially. In addition, genre films were made in Germany in the 1990s, for example " Run Lola Run " (1998, directed by Tom Tykwer), " Bandits " (1997, directed by Katja von Garnier) or the horror film " Anatomie " (2000, directed by: Stefan Ruzowitzky ).
The morbid splatter art films of Jörg Buttgereit became internationally known in the relevant scene. Helge Schneider's films are also a bit off the mainstream . His works, as well as the winner of the European Film Award documentary Buena Vista Social Club (1999, directed by Wim Wenders ) are primarily in cinemas shown.
At the end of the 1990s, more and more filmmakers with a migration background changed the film landscape for the first time. The German-Turkish cinema emerged. Their often transnational approach made a significant contribution. Romuald Karmakar proved to be an unusual director between documentary and feature film .
The German directors Wolfgang Petersen and Roland Emmerich were able to establish themselves in the USA after their domestic successes. With films like Independence Day (1996) or In the Line of Fire - The Second Chance (1993) they reached a global audience. The film composer Hans Zimmer has also been one of the most successful artists in the United States since the 1990s. His compositions for more than 100 successful films around the world are considered to be style-defining.
Structural deficits and lack of public success
|year||Film visits in millions||Canvases|
The conditions for the film industry in the 21st century have changed. The digital revolution led to the emergence of exchange networks on the Internet in which current films could be distributed illegally. The young target group relevant for going to the cinema declined as a result of demographic developments. Computer games and recreational activities on the Internet became competition. In contrast, sales and rentals of video cassettes and, later, DVDs were positive . Theatrical sales in 2005 were 745 million euros, the total video market sales at 1.686 billion euros. The proliferation of large flat screens and improved sound systems for private home theaters accelerated the trend. Streaming services for films were able to make up for declining sales at the box office. The consequences of new technical possibilities in the field of film production through camcorders and video editing programs on the computer made it possible for more people than before to make films themselves.
The presence of German film productions within Germany has remained very limited since 2000 despite improved market shares. Outside of Germany, the audience success of German films was extremely low, as in previous decades. 2003 was German Film Academy , founded in 2007 could German Film Fund and 2015 the German Motion Picture Fund be set up.
Caroline Link's literary adaptation “ Nowhere in Africa ” won the 2003 Oscar for best foreign language film. In 2005, Oliver Hirschbiegel's “ Der Untergang ” and “ Sophie Scholl - The Last Days ” (director: Marc Rothemund ) received a nomination. A year later, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's film " The Lives of Others " was able to bring an Oscar to Germany. " The White Ribbon " (2009) by director Michael Haneke won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Otherwise, many film trends from the 1990s will continue. In the years after the turn of the millennium, comedies with the actor and director Til Schweiger , by Matthias Schweighöfer , or film parodies such as Michael Herbig's " Der Schuh des Manitu " (2001) and " (T) Raumschiff Surprise - Period 1 " were successful among German-speaking cinema audiences. (2004), which were able to attract tens of millions of viewers. Wolfgang Becker's comedy “ Good Bye, Lenin! “(2003) was also a great success at the box office and was simultaneously awarded the German Film Prize and the European Film Prize. The film “ The Miracle of Bern ” (2003), directed by Sönke Wortmann , about Germany's unexpected title win at the football world championship in 1954, was a remarkable commercial success with over 3 million viewers. Just like the genre films “ The Experiment ” (2001) or “ Who Am I - No System is Safe ” (2014).
Fatih Akin with his internationally acclaimed dramas “ Gegen die Wand ” (2004) and “ On the Other Side ” (2007) as well as other directors addressed the distortions and conflicts of the multicultural society. The film " The Baader-Meinhof-Complex " (2008), directed by Uli Edel , which was successful with 2.4 million viewers and intensely discussed in the media , deals with the history of the RAF up to the German autumn of 1977. The producer was Bernd Eichinger .
Important international co-productions with German participation were among others. a. The International (2009) and Perfume - The Story of a Murderer (2006). Cloud Atlas (2012) was considered the most expensive domestic film production at the time of publication. Many of these large-scale productions have been realized in or by Studio Babelsberg since the turn of the century . Babelsberg and neighboring Berlin have also increasingly established themselves as locations for US productions such as The Bourne film series , Cloud Atlas (2012) or Bridge of Spies - The Negotiator (2015).
In recent years, fantasy and fairy tale films have been increasingly produced with a high budget and a lot of effort. Film adaptations of fairy tales and children's books such as “ Krabat ” (2008), “ Witch Lili ” (2009), “ The Cold Heart ” (2016) and the first real film adaptation of Michael Ende's “ Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver ” (2016) are examples of this , of which the latter were also made in Babelsberg.
The German advertising industry has shown itself to be internationally competitive with its films. At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity , Germany took third place in the 2011 Nations Cup. The distribution of particularly popular advertising films is increasingly happening via social media and all kinds of internet forums.
|Market share of German films
in German cinema visits
After 1933, German film was no longer able to build on its internationally broadcasting cinema tradition. The reasons for the loss of importance, which it has not been possible to make up for, are numerous. On the one hand, there was a severe loss of creative talent after 1945. On the other hand, the long history of the Second World War and the division of Germany led to the breaking of many film traditions. A rejection of regional, national or even European identity went hand in hand with this development. State-supported (West German) cultural funding largely withdrew from the art form of film, which had become the leading medium of the 20th century. In the follow-up period one relied in particular on film imports from the United States.
In 2010, total government spending on subsidized cultural institutions amounted to around 9.5 billion euros. In 2013, film funding at the state and federal level together recorded expenses of around 250 million euros. In view of the financial resources, film plays a very subordinate role as an art form in Germany to this day. On the private sector level, with a few exceptions, only a self-sustaining film industry in the national context could develop. A development comparable to that of the private television broadcasters during the 1980s was only observed to a very limited extent within the film industry.
|All-German feature film production|
The below-average material equipment and the decades-long lack of appreciation of film as an art form attracted u. a. a low talent density. A star system, for example, i.e. the development of a large number of internationally recognized actor personalities, has not yet been observed. Popular genre cinema that was successful at the box office, such as action, adventure or science fiction, could not be rebuilt after its heyday in the 1920s. Even an auteur cinema that was profiled according to artistic standards, which last attracted attention from critical circles in the 1970s, was not continued in the decades after 1990.
In the media discourse, various authors address the causes of further structural deficits. The focus of the criticism is here u. a. the television stations, which are more regionally oriented in terms of both personnel and content, which, as sponsors, help to decide on film projects. For the low presence of German films on the domestic market (20-25% market share) and the lack of success with international audiences, weaknesses in the use of technical possibilities and insufficient emotional audience loyalty are also mentioned. The lack of focus on popular, identity-creating and contemporary scripts are cited as further reasons for the low status of local film production.
- University of Television and Film , Munich
- Film Academy Baden-Württemberg , Ludwigsburg
- International Film School Cologne , Cologne
- Art Academy for Media , Cologne
- Film University Babelsberg , Potsdam
- German Film and Television Academy , Berlin
- University of Fine Arts , Hamburg
- List of important German films
- List of German film directors
- List of well-known actors in German-language films
- List of composers of German-language films
- List of German film production companies
- Film festivals in Germany
- Co-production agreement between Austria and Germany
- Film history
- Revue movie
- Hit movie
- Underground film
- Christa Bandmann, Joe Hembus : Classics of the German sound film 1930-1960 ( Citadel Filmbücher ). Goldmann, Munich 1980
- Alfred Bauer : German feature film manach. 1929-1950 . Berlin 1950
- Martin Blaney: Symbiosis or Confrontation? . Bonn 1992, ISBN 3-89404-906-5
- Ilona Brennicke, Joe Hembus: Classics of the German silent film 1910–1930 (Citadel Filmbücher). Goldmann, Munich 1983
- Francis Courtade, Pierre Cadars: History of Film in the Third Reich . Heyne, Munich 1977, ISBN 3-453-00759-X
- Bogusław Drewniak: The German Film 1938–1945. A complete overview . Droste, Düsseldorf 1987, ISBN 3-7700-0731-X
- Werner Faulstich: film history. (2005), ISBN 3-8252-2638-7
- Werner Faulstich , Helmut Korte (eds.): Fischer Filmgeschichte 1. (1994), ISBN 3-596-24491-9
- Robert Fischer, Joe Hembus: The new German film 1960–1980 (Citadel film books). Goldmann, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-442-10211-1
- Adolf Heinzlmeier : Post-war film and Nazi film. Notes on a German topic . Frankfurter Bund für Volksbildung, Frankfurt am Main 1988, ISBN 3-927269-04-2
- Günter Helmes : "We lost the war [...], but we have to lose it if our country is to find its soul again." The FRG feature film production in 1958 as an expression of a 'soul landscape' . In: Flandziu 4, H. 2, 2013, pp. 65–99. ISBN 978-3941120129
- Kay Hoffman: At the end of the video - at the end of the video? . Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-924859-93-0
- Wolfgang Jacobsen (Hrsg.): History of the German film . Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-01952-7
- Eric Karstens, Jörg Schütte: Company television , Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-499-60592-9
- Jürgen Kniep: “No youth approval!”. Film censorship in West Germany 1949–1990 , Wallstein Verlag Göttingen 2010 ISBN 978-3-8353-0638-7
- Thomas Kramer (ed.): Reclam's Lexicon of German Films. (1995), ISBN 3-15-010410-6
- Harald Mühlbeyer, Bernd Zywietz (ed.): A matter of opinion. To the current German film. (2013), ISBN 3-89472-821-3
- Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (Ed.): The Oxford History of World Cinema (1999), ISBN 0-19-874242-8
- Hans Helmut Prinzler : Chronicle of German Film 1895–1994. (1995), ISBN 3-476-01290-5
- Rainer Rother (Ed.): Myths of Nations: Peoples in Film. (1998), ISBN 3-86102-101-3
- Philipp Sanke: The German film of the 80s. With special consideration of its thematic, topographical and chronic reality relationship . Dissertation, University of Marburg 1994 ( full text )
- Irmela Schneider: Film, Fernsehen & Co. Heidelberg 1990, ISBN 3-533-04296-0
- Film theater statistics of the SPIO , on the Internet: PDF ( Memento from February 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Heinz Ungureit : Film-television agreement as a future perspective , in: Kurt Rentschel, Karl Friedrich Reimers (Hrsg.): Film funding . Munich 1992, ISBN 3-88295-148-6
- Jerzy Toeplitz : History of the Film . (2 volumes: 1895–1933, 1934–1945). Two thousand and one, Frankfurt 1983
- Siegfried Zielinski : Audiovisions . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-499-55489-5
- Class reunion in Tuscany. The new German film. Germany / WDR / 3sat 2008, 45 min. A documentation by Reinhold Jaretzky and Natalie Schulz. Production: Zauberbergfilm Berlin
- Hans Helmut Prinzler: Chronicle of German Film 1895-1994. Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-476-01290-5 , pp. VI, 147, 151, 156.
- A case study on the rebuilding of the film industry in post-war Germany from the perspective of a film distributor is the biography of Gloria founder Ilse Kubaschewski: Michael Kamp : Glanz und Gloria. The life of the grande dame of the German film Ilse Kubaschewski . 1907 - 2001 , August Dreesbach Verlag , Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-94433-458-5
- Michael Kamp: Glanz und Gloria. The life of the grande dame of the German film Ilse Kubaschewski 1907-2001. August Dreesbach Verlag, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-944334-58-5 , pp. 100-104 .
- See Schneider: Film, Fernsehen & Co., p. 43.
- Retrospective 2016 - Beloved and Replaced: The Cinema of the Young Federal Republic of Germany
- Jürgen Kniep: No youth approval! 2010, p. 87, according to Schröder, Gerhard: But unfortunately our hopes were disappointed , in: Filmforum 7 (1958), no. 8, p. 2
- Österreichisches Filminstitut : Press release ( Memento of the original from March 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the European Audiovisual Observatory , Council of Europe Strasbourg, 9 February 2009 (accessed on 17 February 2009)
- The cultural infarction: Theaters and museums do not need any subsidies , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , accessed on May 20, 2015.
- Against the dictatorship of mediocrity , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , accessed on May 20, 2015.
- World Film Production Report (excerpt) ( Memento of August 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), Screen Digest, June 2006, pp. 205–207
- Monika Grütters: “Anyone who just wants to please is not an artist” , Tagesspiegel , accessed on May 20, 2015.