By Thomas Elsaesser
German cinema is healthier recognized for its paintings cinema and its lengthy line of remarkable person administrators. The double highlight on those topic has purely deepened the obscurity surrounding the preferred cinema. German Cinema plays a type of archaeology on a interval mostly ignored: the 1st 20 years of German cinema. This choice of essays via proven authors refocuses the phrases of a debate that might strengthen within the years yet to come in regards to the ancient and cultural value of renowned cinema in Wilhelmine Germany.
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Extra info for A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades (Amsterdam University Press - Film Culture in Transition)
Masaryk had made sure that Jews were provided full citizenship rights, and in 1919, Prague was home to a Jewish Party. However, there was no homogeneous Jewish community in Prague, and multiple identities, associations, and languages 4 | migration, nomadism, networks confronted and inspired young Vilém in his first decade as a privileged member of Prague’s German- and Czech-speaking Jewish community. His father, he remembered in a letter to Dr. Joseph Fränkl, published in Jude sein, “studied mathematics and physics in Vienna (with Einstein, among others), and, naturally, philosophy as well.
His existence oscillated between benign nihilism—everything was of equal importance or none—and playful voyeurism. His surroundings and the people in them, the geopolitical developments and the various participants, all became reduced to meaningless entities or cause for inconsequential amusement. In an interview from 1980, he confessed that during the war, “I always carried around with me a piece of paper divided into two sections—in one section I had listed the reasons for suicide, in the other the reasons against it” (ZG, 24).
Flusser, for one, did not “think that there is any relationship between the I who is talking to you now, who is linked to you . . and the little brat from Prague” (FM, 89). In this first chapter, we will attempt to list some of the many networks within which Flusser found himself or within which—later in life—he chose to operate and live. They shall serve to present a certain chronology, and they are themselves an expression of Flusser’s life as continuous and simultaneous essays, his preferred 1 2 | migration, nomadism, networks genre of putting his thoughts into writing, as well as expressions of his identity as a migrant and nomad, biographically as well as intellectually.