​​​​​​​Re-thinking the History of German Film

22 November 2018
Thursday 22 November 2018, 17:00-19:00
Nazrin Shah Auditorium, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB

Re-thinking the History of German Film
Guest Speaker Thursday November 22nd 2018, 5pm
Nazrin Shah Auditorium, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB
Prof Marco Abel (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) talks about “‘1968’, German Cinema, and the Joys of Violence; or: the Forgotten Case of the Aesthetic Left”
Focusing on Johannes Schaaf’s prize-winning Tätowierung (Tattoo, 1967), I will revisit a crucial but now largely-forgotten film-critical debate in West-German cinema between the so-called “political left” and the “aesthetic left.” Dismissed as apolitical just when the student revolt—what we now call “’68”—heated up, this “aesthetic left,” I argue, ironically provided a more astute political analysis of the very moment when the shift towards a neoliberal control society occurred than the more traditional “political left.” It did so, I argue with recourse to thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze and Byung-Chul Han, because it was more in tune with the different affective registers of violence permeating these two regimes of power.

This talk is a first step in my attempt to think through whether a counter-historiography to the established narrative about leftist political filmmaking in West Germany might allow us to fruitfully revise the story of what counted as political (leftist) filmmaking around ’68—and what the implications of doing so might be for today, a moment when we witness a resurgence of debates about political filmmaking in the age of the neoliberal economization of everything.

Worcester College
Walton Street
United Kingdom
01865 278300
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