Berlin ReplayedCinema and Urban Nostalgia in the Postwall Era

Berlin ReplayedCinema and Urban Nostalgia in the Postwall Era

Brigitta B. Wagner

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780816691715

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

Berlin Replayed explores the role of film revival and production in the construction of Berlin’s city image and film geographies at several distinct moments in history: the ‘Golden’ Twenties, the divided but pre-Wall 1950s, the political turning point of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the start of the new millennium. This book argues for the importance of moving images and cultural policy in fostering collective urban nostalgia in the face of the city’s renewed function as the all-German capital. Understanding films as complex, intertextual archives of place in audiovisual dialogue with changes in the built city, Berlin Replayed approaches successive ‘New’ Berlins from the vantage point of the postwar, postwall city and its film industry—both enmeshed in coming to terms with the structural damage of the Second World War and the legacy of a politically and physically divided cityscape. Combining medium specific approaches with cultural historical and film analytical ones, this study focuses on four key problems raised by the relationship between film geography, profilmic urban space, film revival culture, and the production of cinematic space: 1. remake: how cities remake films and how films remake cities; 2. generation: how films created generational geographical affiliations that ran counter to official demarcations of space; 3. virtuality: how films and new media differ in their representations of Berlin’s layered past and their solutions to lost urban spaces in time; and 4. orientation: how filmic constructions of cinematic urban space instruct spectators in the perception of the changing built city.