Jürgen Böttcher’s early works are extraordinarily diverse. In this afternoon workshop, Franziska Nössig and Martin Brady will screen and discuss three very different films from the 1960s. Barefoot and Without a Hat
(Barfuß und ohne Hut
, 1964) is an upbeat portrait of young people on the beach making music and thinking about their future. Seemingly innocuous, the film was not well-received by the censors, who felt its free-wheeling, faintly anarchic tone – at one point a car goes round and round in pointless, faintly absurd circles – was potentially subversive. In the Pergamon Museum
, 1962) is an atmospheric, wordless study of looking, of sculptures in the famous Berlin museum looking at the visitors and vice-versa. Finally, Zoo Film
, 1967) is also about spectatorship – animals pace back and forth endlessly in their cages, birds fly free overhead, and the camera captures the visitors staring at the exhibits. All three films have remarkable musical accompaniment and we will discuss Gerhard Rosenfeld’s scores, the cinematography of Christian Lehmann, and the ambiguous iconography of these beautiful and potentially subversive studies of looking and being looked at and the boundaries between the public and the private.
Barefoot and Without a Hat (Barfuß und ohne Hut)
GDR 1964, b/w, DCP (35mm), 26 mins. With English subtitles.
Im Pergamon-Museum (In the Pergamon Museum)
GDR 1962, b/w, DVD (35mm), 19 mins. With English subtitles.
Zoo Film (Tierparkfilm)
GDR 1967 - 1968, b/w, DVD (35mm), 18 mins. Without dialogue.
Totally Running Time of the Films: 63 minutes
is Emeritus Reader in German and Film Studies at King’s College London. He has published on European film, music, literature, disability, architecture, and the visual arts. He translated Victor Klemperer’s LTI (The Language of the Third Reich) and works as a freelance interpreter and visual artist.
teaches in the German Department at King's College London, where she recently completed her PhD on Jürgen Böttcher. She has published on his experimental trilogy Transformations and has presented his films at the German Embassy London and the Weimar Art Society.
The workshop is staged in association with the German Screen Studies Network and King’s College London.
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