Kaes uses the term "shell shock"--coined during World War I to describe soldiers suffering from nervous breakdowns--as a metaphor for the psychological wounds that found expression in Weimar cinema. Directors like Robert Wiene, F. W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang portrayed paranoia, panic, and fear of invasion in films peopled with serial killers, mad scientists, and troubled young men. Combining original close textual analysis with extensive archival research, Kaes shows how this post-traumatic cinema of shell shock transformed extreme psychological states into visual expression; how it pushed the limits of cinematic representation with its fragmented story lines, distorted perspectives, and stark lighting; and how it helped create a modernist film language that anticipated film noir and remains incredibly influential today.
A compelling contribution to the cultural history of trauma, Shell Shock Cinema exposes how German film gave expression to the loss and acute grief that lay behind Weimar's sleek façade.
This provocative and unique anthology analyzes Quentin Tarantino's controversial Inglourious Basterds in the contexts of cinema, cultural, gender, and historical studies. The film and its ideology is dissected by a range of scholars and writers who take on the director's manipulation of metacinema, Nazisploitation, ethnic stereotyping, gender roles, allohistoricism, geopolitics, philosophy, language, and memory.
In this collection, the eroticism of the club-swinging and avenging "Bear Jew," the dashed heroism of the "role-playing" French and German females, the patriotic fools and pawns, the amoral yokel, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, and the cosmopolitan, but psychopathic Colonel Landa, are understood for their true functions in what has become an iconoclastic pop-culture phenomenon and one of the classics of early twenty-first century American cinema. Additionally, the book examines the use of "foreign" languages (subverting English and image), the allegory of Austria's identity in the war, and the particularly French and German cinematic influences, such as R. W. Fassbinder's realignment of the German woman's film and the iconic image of the German film star in Inglourious Basterds.