German Film Institute

2015 GFI - Call for Applications

XIV German Film Institute

“The Futures of the Past: German Cinema and Its Media”

Anton Kaes & Eric Rentschler, Directors
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
May 31 – June 6

The Fourteenth German Film Institute will be held May 31 – June 6 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. This year’s Institute will mine German cinema for its media histories. Adopting a broadly media archaeological approach, we will ask how German cinema has incorporated, represented, remediated, and otherwise intersected with a variety of media – from writing and print to telephony, the phonograph, radio, television and digital media.

In keeping with the German Film Institute’s ongoing commitment to generating new research and innovative pedagogical approaches, screenings and seminars will emphasize the role of mediality not only in German film history but also as the condition for its preservation, circulation, and re-interrogation: how might we leverage the vast trove of digital data available on the web (from YouTube to digital archives, from the online journal to the video essay) to rethink the contours of German cinema history? How might we think of cinema in expansive, multi-medial ways that include its digital dispersion as much as its incursions into the white cube of the museum?

A carefully curated film series will span the full history of German cinema to showcase the multimedial dimensions of early “screen practice,” the imbrication of visual and sound technologies with the advent of the sound film, the remediation of writing and print media in films (from the Autorenfilm of the 1910s through the graphic uses of writing in silent cinema to collaborations between writers and filmmakers and experimental cinema), the intersecting histories of film and television, the place of video in the essay film. As in its past installments, the German Film Institute will consist of a week of screenings, seminars, and group workshops.
It is the responsibility of invited participants to secure their own travel arrangements. Lodging will be available at University rates in single rooms or suites in the newly constructed North Quad Residential and Academic Complex; alternately, participants may arrange for their own accommodations.

The Institute is designed for scholars at all career stages with substantial research interests in German cinema. Applicants are requested to submit a brief statement outlining their previous work on German cinema and a current CV highlighting relevant publications. Applicants will be notified by mid-March.

By February 27th, please submit application materials in the form of email attachments to Johannes von Moltke, who will also be happy to answer any questions:


Sitemaker Link


Contact Information


GFI History

Since 2004, Michigan has been hosting the biannual German Film Institute. This event brings together eminent scholars in the field of German Film Studies for a week-long seminar of screenings and intensive discussions. Institute topics have included Weimar cinema and its international connections and Young German Film and the legacies of 1968. This year's seminars and screenings will be devoted to the crisis years of the late Weimar Republic, the rise of Fascism, and the transition to sound. Screenings are open to the public, and the schedule will be announced on these pages.

The German Film Institute has a long history in the field of German Studies. It began as an intensive introductory seminar, or "clearing house" for Germanists interested in working with film; the success of this model is directly measurable by the substantial body of rigorous work on film that has been published in the field of German Studies by former participants in the Institute. From this model, the German Film Institute emerged in its current format in August 2000. It now unites scholars with a research record in the field of German film studies, and on the year's topic in particular.

2008 marks the twelfth meeting of the Institute in this form, which follows an established pattern of screenings and seminars. The meetings run for a week in August, with plenary and seminar sessions for registered participants in the mornings, and screenings in the afternoons and evenings.

The event is structured to maximize interactive exchange among the attending scholars. A substantial amount of time is devoted to close analyses of exemplary sequences as well as to intensive discussions that seek to situate the films within pertinent theoretical, analytical, and comparative perspectives. Pre-circulated materials assist participants in their preparations. The screenings are free and open to the public.

The German Film Institute is sponsored by: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, The Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, The Insitute for the Humanities, The Office of the Vice President for Research, The Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and LS&A.

Johannes von Moltke
Associate Professor
German Studies and Screen Arts & Cultures
University of Michigan
3110 MLB
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1275
Tel. 734.764.8018
Fax. 734.763.6557 (w)

Prof. Anton Kaes, German and Film Studies, UC Berkeley
Prof. Eric Rentschler, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University


 2012 | 2008 | 2006 | 2004 |

2012 Archive

The Cinema of Crisis: German Film, 1928-1936
May 20-26, 2012

—All Screenings are Free and Open to the Public—

Directors: Anton Kaes (Berkeley); Eric Rentschler (Harvard)   Organizer: Johannes von Moltke

Sunday, May 20
F. P. 1 antwortet nicht / F.P. 1 Doesn’t Answer
                (Hartl, 1932, 107 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad    
    6:30 Opening Reception, 2435 North Quad
    8:00 Der Kaiser von Kalifornien / The Emperor of California 
                (Trenker, 1936, 95 min., DVD, English subtitles), 2435 North Quad
            Sprengbagger 1010 / Explosive Excavator 1010 
                (Achaz-Duisberg, 1929, 88 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad

Monday, May 21
    2:00 Mutter Krausens Fahrt in Glückk / Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness     
(Jutzi, 1929, 101 min., 35mm.), Angell Auditorium A
    4:00 Cyankali 
                (Tintner, 1930, 80 min., 35mm.), Angell Auditorium A            
            Ums tägliche Brot / Hunger in Waldenburg

                 (Jutzi, 1929, 32 min., DVD [fragment])), Angell Auditorium A
    8:00 Zwei Welten / Two Worlds 
                (Hochbaum, 1929, 14 min., DVD), Angell Auditorium A
            Jenseits der Strasse: Eine Tragödie des Alltags / Harbor Drift: A Tragedy of Everyday Life 
                (Mittler/Blum, 1929, 95 min., 35 mm.), Angell Auditorium A
           Lohnbuchhalter Kremke / Bookkeeper Kremke 
                (Harder, 1930, 68 min., 35mm. ), Angell Auditorium A

Tuesday, May 22
    2:00 Arm wie eine Kirchenmaus / Poor as a Church Mouse 
                (92 min., DVD), Angell Auditorium A
    4:00 Ein blonder Traum / A Blonde’s Dream 
                (92 min., 35mm. Kinemathek), Angell Auditorium A
    8:00 Die verliebte Firma / The Company’s in Love 
                (Ophüls, 1932, 72 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad
            April, April! 
                (Sierck, 1935, 82 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad

Wednesday, May 23
    2:00 Polizeibericht Überfall / Accident 
                (Metzner, 1929, 21 min., DVD, English subtitles), Angell Auditorium A
            Großstadtschmetterling / City Butterfly 
                (Eichberg, 1929, 90 min., 35mm), Angell Auditorium A
    4:00 Verräter / Traitor 
                (Ritter, 1936, 86 min., 35mm.), Angell Auditorium A
    8:00 Razzia in St. Pauli / Raid in St. Pauli 
                (Hochbaum, 1932, 62 min., DVD, English Subtitles), Angell Auditorium A
            Der Schuss im Tonfilmatelier / The Shot in the Talker Studio 
                (Zeisler, 1930, 73 min., 35 mm.), Angell Auditorium A

Thursday, May 24
    2:00 Ein Mensch ohne Namen / The Man Without a Name 
                (Ucicky, 1932, 87 min., 35mm.), Angell Auditorium A
    4:00 Ein Mann will nach Deutschland / A Man Wants to Get to Germany 
                (Wegener, 1934, 97 min., 35mm), Angell Auditorium A
    8:00 Niemandsland / Hell On Earth 
                (Trivas, 1931, 93 min., DVD, English subtitles), 2435 North Quad
            Der Choral von Leuthen / The Hymn of Leuthen 
                (Froelich/Supper, 1933, 83 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad

Friday, May 25
    2:00 Die Tochter des Samurai / The Daughter of the Samurai 
                (Fanck, 1936, 106 min., DVD), 2435 North Quad
    4:00 Ewiger Wald / Enchanted Forest 
(Springer/Sonjevski-Jamrowski, 1936, 69 min., 35mm), Angell Auditorium A
            Das Stahltier / The Steel Animal 
                (Zielke, 1934, 72 min., DVD), Angell Auditorium A
    8:00 Gold 
                (Hartl, 1934, 103 min., 35mm.), Angell Auditorium A
            Der ewige Traum / The Eternal Dream 
                (Fanck, 1934, 97 min., 35mm), Angell Auditorium A

Saturday, May 26
    2:00 Die Welt ohne Maske /The World Without a Mask 
                (Piel, 1934, 111 min., DVD), 6360 North Quad
    4:00 Abschied (So sind die Menschen) / Farewell  
(Siodmak, 1930, 80 min., DVD), 6360 North Quad

The German Film Institute is sponsored by: The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; The Department of Screen Arts & Cultures; The Institute for the Humanities; The International Institute; The Office of the Vice Provost for Research; The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Rackham Graduate School, and Beta-Film.


2008 Archive
GFI Theme "Circa 1968-Young German cinema and the Legacies of the Sixties" 2008 GFI Sitemaker Site*

Monday, August 11
4:00     Die Worte des Vorsitzenden (3 min., 16mm)
            Ihre Zeitungen (25 min., 16mm)
            White Christmas (3 min., 16mm)
            De oppresso liber (5 min., 16mm)
            Die rote Fahne (12 min., 16mm)
            Polizeifilm (12 min., DVD)
            Machorka Muff (18 min., DVD)
            Nicht löschbares Feuer (25 min., 16mm)
            Mühlheim/Ruhr (14 min., 16mm)
8:00    Subjektitüde (5 min., DVD w/subtitles)
          Unterm Pflaster ist der Strand (103 min., 35mm)

Tuesday, August 12
4:00  Antigone (7 min., 35mm)
         Jane erschiesst John, weil er sie mit Anne betrügt (15 min., 35mm)
         Die Bettwurst (81 min., DVD)
8:00  Es (86 min., 35mm)
         Neun Leben hat die Katze (90 min., 35mm)

Wednesday, August 13  
4:00 Aus der Ferne sehe ich dieses Land (100 min., 35mm)
8:00 Shirins Hochzeit (120 min., 35mm)

Thursday, August 14
4:00 Ich liebe Dich, ich töte Dich (95 min., 35mm)
8:00 Negresco (95 min., DVD)
       Zur Sache Schätzchen (80 min., DVD)

Friday, August 15
4:00 besonders wertvoll (11 min., 16mm)
        Wilder Reiter GmbH (104 min., 16mm w/subtitles)
8:00 Einleitung zu Arnold Schoenbergs Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene (17 min., DVD)
        Der Tod der Maria Malibran (104 min., 16mm w/subtitles)


2006 Archive
GFI Theme "Unknown Weimar II: International Connections"

Public Screening Schedule - German Silents: Treasures from the Archive
Sunday, August 6
    7:30 Phantom (Germany 1922, F.W. Murnau)

Monday, August 7
    7:30 Looping the Loop (Germany 1928, A. Robison)

Tuesday, August 8
    2:00 Orlacs Hände / The Hands of Orlac (Germany 1924, R. Wiene)
    7:30 Die Brüder Schellenberg / The Schellenberg Brothers (Germany 1926, K. Grune)

Wednesday, August 9
    2:00 Die wunderbare Luege der Nina Petrowna / The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (Germany 1929, H. Schwarz)
    7:30 Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame / I Kiss Your Hand, Madame (Germany 1929, R. Land)

Thursday, August 10
    2:00 Geschlecht in Fesseln / Sex in Chains (Germany 1928, W. Dieterle)
    7:30 Nju – eine unverstandne Frau /Husbands or Lovers (Germany 1924, P. Czinner)

Friday, August 11
    2:00 Ein Walzertraum / A Waltz Dream (Germany 1925, L. Berger)
    7:30 Die Bergkatze / The Mountain Cat (Germany 1921, E. Lubitsch)

Saturday, August 12
    2:00 Heimkehr / Homecoming (Germany 1928, J. May)

The German Film Institute is sponsored by: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, The Program in Film and Video Studies. The Institute for the Humanities, The Office of the Vice President for Research, and LS&A. All screenings are FREE.  For more information call 764-8018.


2004 Archive
GFI Theme "Unknown Weimar: The Spaces of German Silent Cinema"

Public Screening Schedule
Monday, August 9
8:30 Opium

Tuesday, August 10
2:00 Schatten (Warning Shadow)
4:00 Der brennende Acker (Burning Soil)
8:30 Scherben (Shattered) & Hintertreppe (Backstairs)

Wednesday, August 11
8:30 Das wandernde Bild (The Wandering Image)

Thursday, August 12
4:00 Sumurun (One Arabian Night)
8:30 Das alte Gesetz (This Ancient Law)

Friday, August 13
2:00 Alraune (A Daughter of Destiny)
8:30 Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire & Anders als die Anderen (Different from the Others)

Saturday, August 14
4:00 Stuart Webbs Serials