A critique of the secondary literature on Weimar film : the importance of the Weimar film industry Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/fb494d58c

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  • Only when all aspects of the German film industry of the 1920's have been fully analyzed and understood will "Weimar film" be truly comprehensible. Once this has been achieved the study of this phenomenon will fulfill its potential and provide accurate insights into the Weimar era. Ambitious psychoanalytic studies of Weimar film as well as general filmographies are useful sources on Weimar film, but the accessible works are also incomplete and even misleading. Theories about Weimar culture, about the group mind of Weimar, have been expounded, for example, which are based on limited rather than exhaustive studies of Weimar film. Yet these have nonetheless dominated the literature because no counter theories have been put forth. Both the deficiencies of the secondary literature and the nature of the topic under study--the film media--necessitate that attention be focused on the films themselves if the mysteries of the Weimar screen are to be untangled and accurately analyzed. Unfortunately the remnants of Weimar film available today are not perfect sources of information and not even firsthand accounts in other sources on content and quality are reliable. However, these sources--the films and firsthand accounts of them--remain to be fully explored. They must be fully explored if the study of Weimar film is ever to advance. Any further studies of Weimar film will have to be grounded in fact if they are to arrive at significant and meaningful conclusions. A thorough examination of the industry is a prerequisite to any further interpretive studies. To understand the films, one has to first understand their genesis. All aspects of the industry must be thoroughly researched: the production companies, the studios, production volume, cinemas, costs and salaries, organizations and institutions, protectionism, censorship, and taxation. Some information is available on these topics, but it is incomplete and sometimes inaccurate. Even the most extensive studies written to date which are accessible raise more questions than they answer. Sources do exist which could shed light on these concerns, but they have not been fully utilized. However, they must be utilized and the many unanswered questions on the Weimar film industry resolved. A thorough knowledge of Weimar films must at last be integrated with a thorough knowledge of the Weimar film industry per se.
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