Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

MFCO316 German Cinema

An advanced study of the development of German cinema from the silent era to the present which centres on issues arising from German responses to the onset of modernity, the demands of the fascist period, the renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945 and the experience of postmodern culture.

Where would film noir, horror or science fiction films be today without classics of Weimar Berlin cinema like W. F. Murnau's Nosferatu: a Symphony of Terror or Fritz Lang's Metropolis or M? From the 1920s onwards, German cinema has contributed significantly to development of international screen culture. Students of film, media and German studies will come to understand the many ways in which German moving images have responded to and helped to shape national and international screen histories to the present.

Paper title German Cinema
Paper code MFCO316
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

18 200-level MFCO or FIME points or one of GLBL 201, GLBL 202, GLBL 301, GLBL 302, GERM 202, GERM 203, GERM 242, GERM 243, GERM 244
FIME 307
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Course Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Simon Ryan
Paper Structure
MFCO 316 centres on the examination of aesthetic, political and social issues arising from German responses to four distinct periods of cultural reorientation:
  • The onset of urban-industrial modernity and consumerism
  • The imposition of National Socialism
  • The renegotiation of personal, social and national identity after 1945
  • The experience of post-industrial culture and, after 1989, of Germany's reunification to the present
  • Essay 1: 20%
  • In-class test: 20%
  • Research essay: 30%
  • Final examination (2 hours): 30%
Teaching Arrangements
The paper is delivered through two 1-hour lectures per week, a screening session and weekly tutorials.
The set readings for this paper and other supporting materials are available on Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Relate examples of the screen culture of the periods studied to changes occurring in German social, political and cultural life in an international context
  • Understand the role of cinematic discourse in the ongoing construction of notions of German society, gender, class, ethnicity and projections of national identity
  • Show an understanding of the contribution of selected examples of German screen culture to cinema as an international culture
  • Discern and articulate formal and aesthetic practices operative in selected examples of German cinema in relation to critical perspectives provided by film theory and cultural analysis

^ Top of page


Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system