A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades (Amsterdam by Thomas Elsaesser

By Thomas Elsaesser

German cinema is healthier identified for its paintings cinema and its lengthy line of exceptional person administrators. The double highlight on those topic has simply deepened the obscurity surrounding the preferred cinema. German Cinema plays a type of archaeology on a interval principally ignored: the 1st twenty years of German cinema. This number of essays through verified authors refocuses the phrases of a debate that would strengthen within the future years in regards to the historic and cultural value of renowned cinema in Wilhelmine Germany.

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Extra info for A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades (Amsterdam University Press - Film Culture in Transition)

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It is discourse analysis that many media scholars turn to in order to study such phenomena. Discourse as framed within the news media has been a particular focus of research giving valuable insight into such things as the representation of black and minority ethnic groups in the media, or the framing of gender and disability. Such analyses start from the point that ‘the “content” of newspapers is not facts about the world, but in a very general sense “ideas”… language is not neutral, but a highly constructive mediator’ (Fowler 1991: 1).

The word-sign ‘table’ only has meaning to us because we can differentiate it from words such as ‘chair’ or ‘lamp’. Without such difference, it could not function as a sign. So, what does all of that mean to media semioticians? Media students and scholars are interested in establishing what systems are in operation that, in sum, give words, images, news reports, films and memes (for example) particular meaning, and differentiate them from others. It is only through these processes that the differences between man/woman, life/death, black/white can be constructed and understood.

In a newspaper, an image on a page will have a relationship with the text around it (captions, the article), but also perhaps the other articles and adverts that surround it. Here we are noting that images are rarely consumed in isolation. Lastly, we should think about the context of reception. Our reading of a text may differ depending on other factors, such as our location (in a library or on a bus perhaps), who we are with, whether our friends, families, or by ourselves. We might also argue that the range of experiences and ideas that we bring with us to our reading of a text will affect what we take away from it.

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