Course syllabus



GERMAN 230: German Cinema from Murnau to Riefenstahl

SEMESTER 1, 2018

15 points

 Course Convenor: 

 Nicole Perry:

 Office hours 3-4 Wednesdays or by appointment


 Nicole Perry: 

Tracy Adams:

Course delivery format:

2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

Mondays 2-4 PM ARTS 1, 217

Wednesdays 4-5 PM COMMERCE A, G01

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

 Summary of Course Description:              

This course offers an analysis of a number of films from the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich seen against the political and social upheavals of the time. Of particular interest is the portrayal of German masculinities after the devastating loss of the First World War compared to the films of the Third Reich and Leni Riefenstahl. The image of the New Woman of the Weimar Republic, as best exemplified by Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel, will also be juxtaposed with the role of the woman as the backbone of the German nation in the Third Reich.

 Course outcomes:

A student who successfully completes this course will have the opportunity to:

  • acquire knowledge of the Weimar Republic from a cultural-historical and film perspective.
  • understand and carry out close readings and theoretical readings of film
  • acquire skills in critical thinking, academic literacy,  speaking/presentation skills

 Assessment Summary:

Two in class essays (2@15%)

Final essay (30%) 2,250 words (+/- 10%)

Final exam (40%)

The 15% class essays will take place in the normal tutorial hour. You will be shown a short extract twice from one of the films studied up to that time. You will be asked to identify the film, put the extract in context of the film, discuss the film's main themes and its contribution to cinema, and relate the film to the time in which it was made. 

The final essay will be on one of the themes discussed in class and how the films reflect the theme. You must take in the political, social, and cinematic background to the making of the film. Students in Gender Studies are expected to write on a topic relating to gender. You must reference in MLA style. 

The final exam will consist of two sets of questions (A/B)  in which you will be asked to answer one question in each section.  The questions are broad in scope and address different thematics discussed in class. 


All films are available for viewing at the AV library or you can check a copy out with me if available

Weekly Topics

WEEK 1: Introduction: Cultural History of the Weimar Republic and Film

WEEK 2: Der Student von Prag (1913)

WEEK 3:Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari (1920) Nosferatu (1922)

WEEK 4: Der letzte Mann (1924)

WEEK 5: Geheimnisse einer Seele (1926)


WEEK 6:Guest Lecture, Dr. Katie Sutton, ANU

WEEK 7: Die Büchse der Pandora (1929)

WEEK 8: Metropolis (1927) 

WEEK 9: Der blaue Engel (1930)

WEEK 10: Berlin: Die Sinfonie Der Großstadt (1927); M (1931)

WEEK 11: Triumph des Willens (1935)

WEEK 12: Die Mörder sind unter uns (1946) Conclusion 


Prescribed Texts: Please see the reading list that will be up on Talis


 Recommended Texts: Please see the reading list that will be up on Talis


 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.



Course summary:

Date Details