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Weimar ThoughtA Contested Legacy$
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Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.001.0001

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Weimar Film Theory

Weimar Film Theory

(p.273) 13 Weimar Film Theory
Weimar Thought

Sabine Hake

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides a careful reconstruction of major themes and points of critical tension amongst Béla Balázs, Siegfried Kracauer, and Rudolf Arnheim, the three greatest theorists of film during the Weimar period. Their contributions are more accurately located in the space between criticism and theory, and can only be understood through the entire historical constellation: the various institutional contexts, aesthetic categories, social practices, and cultural traditions that constituted film as a discursive object; the competing functions of film as mass-produced commodity, art form, and propaganda tool that informed critical practices; and the changing positions of film in relation to other art forms, mass media, and modes of perception and experience.

Keywords:   Béla Balázs, Siegfried Kracauer, Rudolf Arnheim, film theory, film theorists, Weimar Republic

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