Film Criticism

Academic film journal publishes articles on different disciplines, cultures and critical perspectives.

Articles from Spring

A Sierckian Double Image: The Narration of Zarah Leander as a National Socialist Star
Introduction Zarah Leander was without doubt one of the most popular female star figures of Nazi Germany, arguably even the most popular, male or female, within and beyond the borders of the Third Reich. She was known both as an actress and a singer...
From Detlef Sierck to Douglas Sirk
(Translated by Gerd Gemunden) The writing of film history, and historiography in general, has to contend with the problems of how historical eras can be established and with the consequences of such periodizations for the interpretation of historical...
Introduction
Talking about his lack of roots and his confused sense of Heimat after many years of living outside of Germany, Douglas Sirk stated in 1971: "Sometimes, thinking about myself, it seems to me I am looking at one of those goddam split characters out...
Sirk and the Culture Industry: Zu Neuen Ufern and the First Legion
I Douglas Sirk's melodramatic universe is saturated with references to organized religion. While films such as The First Legion (1950) or Battle Hymn (1956) directly engage with the delicate role of religious institutions in a secularized world,...
Sirk and the Figure of the Actress: All I Desire
From the earliest days of the cinema, the figure of the actress has been one that has intrigued scriptwriters, directors, and performers alike. In part, this fascination derives from artists' self-reflexive pleasure in crafting works about the creative...
Sirk's Early Exile Films: Boefje and Hitler's Madman
The news of a massacre in the Czech village of Lidice on June 10th 1942 spread like wildfire around the world. This act of brutal reprisal on the 27th of May for the assassination of the so-called Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich,...
The Rene Clair Moment and the Overlap Films of the Early 1930s: Detlef Sierck's April, April!
The periodization of German cinema used to seem an easy question to film scholars, given the fairly neat fit between different cinematic epochs, various configurations of the film industry, and Germany's seven different types of government over the...
Trapped in a Tomb of Their Own Making: Max Ophuls's the Reckless Moment and Douglas Sirk's There's Always Tomorrow
This essay came about because I was struck by the many similarities between Max Ophuls' 1949 film The Reckless Moment and Douglas Sirk's There's Always Tomorrow (1956). There are many parallels between the careers of Sirk and Ophuls. Both wartime emigres...
Zarah Leander and Transgender Specularity
She died on 23 June 1981, the most beloved German chansoneuse ever, the greatest screen idol of the Third Reich, the scintillating star of such melodramas as Zu neuen Ufern / To New Shores (1937), La Habanera (1937), Es war eine rauschende Ballnacht...