What does going to the movies “with Kracauer” mean today? How can social analysis and film be combined in line with his thinking? The numerous film reviews of German cinema of the Weimar era written by Kracauer as editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung in the 1920s and early 1930s, which served as the basis for the film theory he developed in exile in the United States, remain a viable approach to the study of cinema as a medium of mass culture and at the same time a political medium. For Kracauer, the social tendencies of an era are inscribed in films, even if they are not always obvious. Just as cinema is already an aesthetic treatment of reality, film criticism must also adopt a perspective that interprets the emancipatory or politically regressive moments of cinema—of the films produced by the culture industry and propagandistic films as well as experimental art film. In this sense, the film series is dedicated to Kracauer’s acute sensibility for film as a reflective medium and for the social longings and political conditions it expresses, drawing on historical films as well as more recent experimental, documentary, and feature films.
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