No Place Like Home: Locations of Heimat in German Cinema

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University of California Press, Sep 6, 2005 - Performing Arts - 318 pages
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This is the first comprehensive account of Germany's most enduring film genre, the Heimatfilm, which has offered idyllic variations on the idea that "there is no place like home" since cinema's early days. Charting the development of this popular genre over the course of a century in a work informed by film studies, cultural history, and social theory, Johannes von Moltke focuses in particular on its heyday in the 1950s, a period that has been little studied. Questions of what it could possibly mean to call the German nation "home" after the catastrophes of World War II are anxiously present in these films, and von Moltke uses them as a lens through which to view contemporary discourses on German national identity.
 

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Contents

Evergreens The Place of Heimat in German Film History
21
Therapeutic Topographies From Ludwig Ganghofer to the Nazi Heimatfilm
36
Launching the Heimatfilmwelle From the Triimmerfilm to Grün ist die Heide
73
HeimatHorrorHistory Rosen bliihen auf dem Heidegrab
93
Nostalgic Modernization Locating Home in the Economic Miracle
114
Expellees Emigrants Exiles Spectacles of Displacement
135
Collectivizing the Local DEFA and the Question of Heimat in the 1950s
170
InsideOut Spaces of History in Edgar Reitzs Heimat
203
Heimat Heritage and the Invention of Tradition
227
Notes
239
Bibliography
273
Index
291
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Page 12 - The advent of modernity increasingly tears space away from place by fostering relations between "absent" others, locationally distant from any given situation of face-to-face interaction. In conditions of modernity, place becomes increasingly phantasmagoric: that is to say, locales are thoroughly penetrated by and shaped in terms of social influences quite distant from them. What structures the locale is not simply that which is present on the scene; the "visible form" of the locale conceals the...
Page 2 - ... that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar...
Page 13 - ... lifting out" of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of time-space
Page 2 - Em — and it's that — if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!
Page 11 - All of these have been attempts to fix the meaning of places, to enclose and defend them: they construct singular, fixed and static identities for places, and they interpret places as bounded enclosed spaces defined through counterposition against the Other who is outside. Yet this is not the only way in which the notion of 'place' can be conceived. If space is conceptualized in terms of a four-dimensional 'space-time...

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About the author (2005)

Johannes von Moltke is Associate Professor of German and Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

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