Ron Schlesinger: „Führer“, traitors, debased fathers: The King in German Life-Action Fairy-Tale Film. An Analysis of the Genre in the „Third Reich“ and in Post-war Germany

The study focuses how movie characters in German life-action fairy-tale films – especially the king with children – are filming (cinematic techniques) so they reflect the periods of production and their official ideology in these historical periods.

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Siegfried Kracauer was convinced, that „the films of a nation reflect its mentality in a more direct way than other artistic media“. This means that film and society are inextricably linked. This basic idea also applies to the German life-action fairy-tale films. With the staging of its film characters, the genre is able to consciously or unconsciously reflect on phenomena of a social reality.

Whether this happens depends on the function of the film character in the context of the narration and on the filmic means: such as camera work, editing/montage, sound effects, music, as well as intertextual references to other media contexts. Therefore, the core of the question is which cinematic techniques are used to characterize movie characters in life-action fairy-tale films, so that they capture ideological tendencies in a metaphorical way in the historical context and on the level of possible formation of meaning.

The work focuses on a limited period of investigation or historical periods of the 20th century, the social character of which is particularly different: the fairy-tale film cinema in the „Third Reich“ and in post-war Germany of the early West and East Germany up to 1965.

  • Project lead: Ron Schlesinger
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  • CV: Ron Schlesinger is an author, journalist and media scientist. He writes regularly for his blog “Märchen im Film”. Most recently he was co-editor of “Märchen im Medienwechsel. Zur Geschichte und Gegenwart des Märchenfilms” (Stuttgart 2018). He is currently involved in his home town of Torgau/Saxony for a “Cinema and Film Museum Torgau”, which is to be located in a listed but closed film theater (built in 1938/39).
  • PhD Advisors:
  • Scientific PhD in the discipline: Media studies