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Wednesday, March 21 • 11:30am - 12:20pm
Socialist Identity in the Making. Lea aus dem Süden (Gottfried Kolditz, GDR 1963) between French Chic, Socialist Values and Consumer Culture LIMITED

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Das Film-Magazin Nr. 4, Teil 2 - Lea aus dem Süden (Gottfried Kolditz, GDR 1963) belongs to the fairly unknown series of humorous short films produced by the East German DEFA Film Studios between 1960 and 1964. Its production unit Stacheltier was part of the politically and economically controlled film production system of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Beginning in 1959, the seven production units followed official instructions and thematic plans of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, with the objective of collective collaboration on artistic and ideological questions.
According to the bottom-up approaches in New Film History and Media Archaeology, individual aspects of a film’s history can be revealed with the help of film and non-film sources. These aspects demonstrate that the history and mode of production of a film do not start with the shooting, but rather earlier during the manufacturing of its film stock in a specific technical, socio-political and cultural context. Following this hypothesis, the encompassing social factors shape the material properties, such as mimetic colour film processes, that are based on chromogenic development, as well as their narrative and aesthetic functions.
Lea aus dem Süden has been digitized and analysed by various scientific criteria in the framework of the projects ERC Advanced Grant Film Colors and SNSF Film Colors. Technologies, Cultures, Institutions in cooperation with the DEFA Foundation. Different interrelations between material and film history will be addressed in this paper on the basis of this case study. This paper deals with the cultural and discursive practices associated with this colour film, shot in Agfacolor, and the ways in which they are intertwined with the political tensions of the time the film (stock) was produced. Furthermore, the presented topics of consumer and leisure culture foster the blurring of boundaries between socialist and capitalist identity formation shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall. These undeniable connections raise questions about the individual identity of a society and its films that are usually referred to as typically “national” and require further debates about the application of corresponding terms.

avatar for Josephine Diecke

Josephine Diecke

PhD Student, SNSF Project Filmcolors. Technologies, Cultures, Institutions
Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and French Philology at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (2013). International Master of Arts in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (2016) with a master thesis on the theoretical, practical... Read More →

Wednesday March 21, 2018 11:30am - 12:20pm GMT
Clore Centre Lecture Theatre, Birkbeck University, London