The Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor in the spring of 2012 is the filmmaker Robert Thalheim.
Born in 1974 in Berlin, he graduated from high school in Indiana and then returned to Germany to complete his schooling there. After working as an assistant director at the Berliner Ensemble for two years, he began studying directing at the Filmhochschule in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 2000, the same year in which he published his book, Ash or Diamond: Polish History in the Films of Andrzej Wajda. In 2003 he directed his play Wild Boys at Berlin's Maxim Gorki Theater. Thalheim also serves as editor of the Central European cultural affairs magazine Plotki.
After a series of short films, Um vier Uhr plötzlich ging die Welt unter (1996), Zeit ist Leben (2000), Three Percent (2002), Die Grenze - Granica (2002), and Ich (2003), he wrote and directed his first feature-length work, Netto, which won prizes at several film festivals. The second film that he wrote and directed, Am Ende kommen Touristen, premiered to critical acclaim at the 2007 Cannes film festival. He directed his most recent film, Zwillinge, in 2010.
The topic of his course, German 82, is "Dokumentarischer Stil im deutschen Spielfilm:" In the context of a brief history of German film, from its beginnings to the present, this course will examine how, when, and why even feature films sometimes work with the conventional tools of documentary film-making. The analysis will emphasize four particular elements in feature films: 1) shooting without a complete script - that is, with the help of improvisation; 2) departures from the classical three-act plot structure; 3) the use of documentary elements in cinematography, editing, sound, and music; and 4) the inclusion of actual occurrences in the film action. The course will begin with a short introduction to the basic tools of film analysis. Then, using selected examples, including from the instructor's own works, it will provide insights into the most important epochs of German film history. In addition to short written assignments, the students will engage in an exercise in practical film-making. The films to be treated: Kuhle Wampe (Dudow), Deutschland im Herbst (Fassbinder Episode), Solo Sunny (Konrad Wolf), Die Schlüssel (Egon Günther), Halbe Treppe (Andreas Dresen), Netto (Robert Thalheim). Taught in German. Time to be arranged.
Last Updated: 1/24/13