This semester-long series has focused on the Nazi cinema's ability to mobilize emotions and immobilize minds. In it's first installment, we see two contemporary works that reflect the powers of the dream machine in the service of political ideology.
May 1 (Monday) 9 pm
Following The Marriage of Maria Braun, Fassbinder created another picture of life in Nazi Germany, focusing on a woman who is both participant in and victim of the life of her times. Schygulla portrays the singer whose famous rendition of the song Lili Marleen became as popular with the besieged and dying troops of Germany as it did with those on the Soviet side. This lush and incisive production both critiques and sympathizes with the state of mind of common people who are subject to powerful cultural forces.
May 9 (Tuesday) 9 pm
Directed by Dana Ranga
Germany 1997, 35mm, b/w and color, 78 min.
With Chris Doerk, Erich Gusko, Karin Schroder
German/Russian/Polish/Romanian/Bulgarian/Czech with English subtitles
A hit at the Sundance Film Festival, East Side Story is an exploration of a previously undiscovered genre of Soviet-bloc production in the 1950s and 1960s: the socialist movie musicalpart Stalin, part Beach Blanket Bingo. Through the presentation of numerous clips, this compilation proves that humor and extravagance really were a part of the allegedly gray and bleak terrain of Eastern European culture of the time. Was it all done for propaganda purposes? Does it reveal a vein of hope and desire running against the grain? Should we re-evaluate East European socialism? Come and see.