German film is enjoying enormous levels of success, whether success is defined in terms of financial returns, popularity with audiences at home and abroad or critical acclaim. The 2000s saw German productions become regular guests at all the major international film festivals, from Sundance to Tokyo, winning awards across the globe. As such, and as reviewers are keen to point out, the German industry appears to be reaching once again the aesthetic heights that brought it the international praise of critics from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Also, domestic productions are becoming more popular and, as a result, more commercially viable.
Contemporary German cinema examines the success of recent film production in its wider industrial, cultural and political context, blending broad overviews of recent trends with detailed examinations of key case studies. As a starting point, it explores the German film funding system and the economic place of the German industry within global film production. Subsequent chapters then look at the impact of this system on filmmakers' aesthetic choices. This is complemented by discussion of the dominant issues these films explore, from the legacies of Germany's Nazi past and post-war division to the nation's increasingly multicultural make up, the changing age and gender demographic of cinema audiences and the nation's shifting relationship with the United States as both a 'real' and 'imagined' space.
Paul Cooke looks at many of the most successful films of the last two decades, including Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run, Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin, Hans Weingartner's The Edukators, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarchks, The Lives of Others and Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall. -- .
Paul Cooke is Professor of German Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds -- .
Acknowledgements List of illustrations Introduction Contemporary German Cinema: Mapping the Terrain Chapter One Financing Cinema in Germany: Art, Entertainment or Commerce? Chapter Two Representational Strategies and Questions of Realism Chapter Three Heritage Cinema, Authenticity and Dealing with Germany's Past Chapter Four Transnational Cinema, Globalisation and Multicultural Germany Chapter Five 'German Cinema Today is Female': Gender and the legacies of the Frauenfilm Chapter Six Visions of America across the Generations Chapter Seven The Heimat Film: Reconfiguring 'Papas Kino' Bibliography -- .