Read e-book online Siegfried Kracauer's American writings : essays on film and PDF

By Siegfried Kracauer

ISBN-10: 0520271823

ISBN-13: 9780520271821

ISBN-10: 0520271831

ISBN-13: 9780520271838

ISBN-10: 0520952006

ISBN-13: 9780520952003

Siegfried Kracauer (1889–1966), good friend and colleague of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, used to be the most influential movie critics of the mid-twentieth century. during this ebook, Johannes von Moltke and Kristy Rawson have, for the 1st time assembled essays in cultural feedback, movie, literature, and media idea that Kracauer wrote in the course of the sector century he spent in the US after fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. within the a long time following his arrival within the usa, Kracauer commented on advancements in American and eu cinema, wrote on movie noir and neorealism, tested unsettling political tendencies in mainstream cinema, and reviewed the modern experiments of avant-garde filmmakers. As a cultural critic, he additionally ranged some distance past cinema, intervening in debates relating to Jewish tradition, unraveling nationwide and racial stereotypes, and reflecting at the nation of arts and arts within the Fifties. those essays, including the editors' introductions and an later on by means of Martin Jay supply illuminating insights into the movies and tradition of the postwar years and supply a different standpoint in this eminent émigré intellectual.

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Extra info for Siegfried Kracauer's American writings : essays on film and popular culture

Sample text

Deeds Goes to Town [USA 1936, dir. Frank Capra] or Dead End [USA 1937, dir. William Wyler] dared to face such problems, was one of the reasons for their European success; they broke the rule of neutrality that weighed upon the French cinema. At the same time they furnished much enlightenment as to the political thinking and social struggle in America. As the substance of the French republican mind vanished more and more from the screen, these pictures testified to the strength of American democracy, and it did not matter so much that they were often naive, like You and Me [USA 1938, dir.

2 This was the way in which many Europeans felt about the contrast between French and American films. And it was quite natural that to them the Hollywood pictures appeared as the manifestation of movement and life. Where else but in the Western do real horses gallop over real plains? They are representative of the swiftness of action, and, what is more important, this action, typical of American films, answers the demands of the film camera in that it extends over the whole material dimension and precisely includes that sector of reality which can be called camera reality.

Kracauer clearly identified with this description of his method. 79 Such surface manifestations can be found not only in material objects and urban spaces (such as streets or arcades), but also, of course, in the cinema. Accordingly, Kracauer formulated programmatically in 1932 that “the film critic of note is conceivable only as a social critic. ”80 Readers of Kracauer’s two monographs on film have often concluded that after his arrival in the United States he jettisoned this approach, with its ear for nuance and its attentiveness to the materials of culture.

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