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This volume tells the story of the cinema of Germany in 24 essays, each concerning an individual film, in a fresh and concise way. It describes a 'national' film industry which successfully met the demand of a 'national' audience from the 1910s to the 1960s. The book represents this system by focusing on films which were very popular with contemporary German audiences such as Metropolis (1927), Three from the Filling Station (1930), The Great Love (1942), The Heath is Green (1951) and The Treasure of Silver Lake (1962). As a consequence of World War II, the system of popular German cinema declined during the 1960s and early 1970s. Films from these decades such as Yesterday Girl (1966) and Germany in Autumn (1978) broke with the film form as well as with the mode of production that the popular narrative cinema had established. From the 1980s on, a new generation has tried to re-establish a popular German cinema with films such as The Boat (1981), Run Lola Run (1998) and Goodbye Lenin! (2003).
Joseph Garncarz is Professor of Theatre, Film, and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. Annemone Ligensa is a media historian, centrally involved in the research project "Visual Communities" at the University of Cologne.