ger/fine 363: german directors in hollywood

Winter Term 2018, University of Waterloo

Don't be afraid - it will be a good course . . . . 


german directors in hollywood

Film screenings: Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm;
Film discussions: Thursdays 2:30-4:2

        In this course we'll be looking at the films of a number of directors who got their start in Germany, and then went on to achieve even greater fame in America. And they often did so by rewriting the rulebook. 

        We'll be watching films by . . . 

        • F.W. Murnau, who brought the sensibility of Weimar strangeness to Hollywood
        • Fritz Lang, who made shadows a staple of film noir
        • Douglas Sirk, whom we can thank for 1950s technicolor melodramas
        • Werner Herzog, who made his mark in fiction film in Germany only to reinvent documentary filmmaking in America
        • and a couple of others 

        The course will meet twice weekly, once to screen a film, and once to talk about it (days/times tbd). We'll also learn about how German emigration to the United States has changed American intellectual life.  Coursework will consist of online discussions, written film reviews, and other good stuff.


        Screenings are Tuesday evenings, 6:30pm, East Campus Hall, Room 1220. East Campus Hall is located at 263 Phillip Street, behind University Shops Plaza. Parking is available in Lot Q, to the north of East Campus Hall, entrance off of Phillip Street. Cost is $5/day (flat rate). You can purchase a ticket from the pay and display machine with coin, WatCard or credit card. (Does not accept Visa Debit, MasterCard Debit or Tim Hortons Visa.)

        • Silent Films
          • 9 January - The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau, 1924) - how do you cope when your job is your identity, and you lose your job?
          • 16 January - Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927) - won some of the first Oscars ever awarded!
        • Film noir
          • 23 January - M (Fritz Lang, 1931) - Lang's first sound film, and he uses it brilliantly.
          • 30 January - Ministry of Fear (Fritz Lang, 1944) - based on the Graham Greene novel.
        • Melodrama
        • Exiles
          • 27 February - Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) - a classic, filled with a who's who of the German expat acting community. 
          • 6 March - Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954) - Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart - what more do you need to know?
        • Larger than life
          • 13 March - Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, 1982) - Herzog's monumental Amazon film. Watch the actors pull a boat over a mountain!
          • 20 March - Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005) - Herzog's groundbreaking documentary about a man who thought he could live with bears.

        If you want to know more, please contact the instructor (