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New Objectivity (filmmaking)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Objectivity (a translation of the German Neue Sachlichkeit,[1] alternatively translated as "New Sobriety" or "New matter-of-factness") was an art movement that emerged in Germany in the early 1920s as a counter to expressionism.[2] The term applies to a number of artistic forms, including film.

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In film, New Objectivity reached its high point around 1929.[3] It translated into realistic cinematic settings, straightforward camerawork and editing, a tendency to examine inanimate objects as a way to interpret characters and events, a lack of overt emotionalism, and social themes.

Notable directors

The director most associated with the movement is Georg Wilhelm Pabst.[4] Pabst's films of the 1920s concentrate on subjects such as abortion, prostitution, labor disputes, homosexuality, and addiction. His cool and critical 1925 Joyless Street is a landmark of the objective style.[5] Pabst's 1930 pacifist sound film Westfront 1918 views the World War I experience in a bleak, matter-of-fact way.[6][7] With its clear denunciation of war, it was soon banned as unsuitable for public viewing.

Other directors in the style included Ernő Metzner, Berthold Viertel,[8] and Gerhard Lamprecht.


The movement ended essentially in 1933 with the fall of the Weimar Republic.[9]


Films with New Objectivity themes and visual style include:


  1. ^ MoMA|German Expressionism Style: New Objectivity
  2. ^ Cultural changes: developments in architecture, art and the cinema - The Weimar Republic 1918-1929 - Edexcel - GCSE History Revision - Edexcel - BBC Bitesize
  3. ^ Film Front Weimar: Representations of the First World War in German Films of Bernadette Kester, page 123
  4. ^ Private Anxieties/Public Projections: "New Objectivity", Male Subjectivity, and Weimar Cinema on JSTOR
  5. ^ Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era, edited by Noah William Isenberg, page 140
  6. ^ Film Front Weimar: Representations of the First World War in German Films of Bernadette Kester, page 123
  7. ^ Westfront 1918 (1930)|The Criterion Collection
  8. ^ The Ufa Story: A History of Germany's Greatest Film Company, 1918-1945, by Klaus Kreimeier, page 113
  9. ^ New Objectivity - Didactics_0.pdf
  10. ^ Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era, edited by Noah William Isenberg, page 140
  11. ^ Isenberg, Noah, ed. (2009). Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era. Columbia University Press. p. 236. ISBN 9780231503853. Retrieved February 2, 2023 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Film Front Weimar: Representations of the First World War in German Films from the Weimar Period (1919-1930) on JSTOR
  13. ^ An Endless Number of Great Deeds: Film Front Weimar: Representations of the First World War in German Films of the Weimar Period (1919-1933) by Bernadette Kester — Senses of Cinema
This page was last edited on 22 February 2023, at 18:54
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