TitleThe haunted public sphere
NamePolak-Springer, Katrin (author), Naqvi, Fatima (chair), Levine, Michael (internal member), Helfer, Martha (internal member), Schwab, Gabriele (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Women in motion pictures,
Motion pictures--Germany--History and criticism,
Motion pictures, German--History and criticism,
Kluge, Alexander,--1932---Criticism and interpretation
DescriptionMy dissertation sheds light on the German filmmaker and author Alexander Kluge and his ideas on filmmaking as they evolved out of his conception of the public versus the private spheres since the early 1960s. It was Kluge’s contention that personal experiences of war and violence could not be expressed publicly in the postwar Federal Republic, causing a rift between the two realms and a haunting presence of trauma within individuals and society as a whole. What Kluge, in cooperation with Oskar Negt, called “alternative public sphere” in Public Sphere and Experience (1972) and History and Obstinacy (1981) is closely linked to Woman and so-called “proletarian” forces countering instrumental reason and the bourgeois cultural matrix. Analyzing four crucial films from Kluge’s creative work, I outline the increasingly allegorical role of his concept of “female mode of production,” which constitutes Kluge’s aesthetics and thematic focus. How the ideas of “alternative public sphere” and “female mode of production” are linked to the cinema and Kluge’s theory of film is the focus of another chapter that scrutinizes Kluge’s recent literary compilation Cinema Stories (2007). Finally, I read a selection of contemporary German films considered the new filmic avant-garde through the lens of Kluge’s approach to film, to the “female mode of production,” and to the public sphere. This allows me to compare the ethics, the formal and political attitude of the so-called Berlin School directors to the vanguard movement of Young German Film in the sixties and early seventies. I conclude that the filmic Autoren today deal with a similar problem as Alexander Kluge has done throughout his career, namely the dissociation of personal, lived experience from public representation. They also employ formal and thematic strategies that can be related to the thoughts behind the Oberhausen generation of German filmmakers. While the generation of the leftist student movements sought public recognition of the atrocities committed under National Socialism, the Berlin School directors deal with mediated experience in times of media and finance corporatism as virtual realities threaten to take over the empiric world.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Katrin Polak-Springer
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.