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Wed, Mar 20 | 6:30-7:45pm

Melodrama and Politics: A Rainer Werner Fassbinder Seminar

Held in the upstairs Jackson Education and Engagement Space

Melodrama and Politics: A Rainer Werner Fassbinder Seminar

General Admission: $15 ($12 for Belcourt members)


This seminar is presented in conjunction with Trilogies: Part 2 and the BRD Trilogy.
Movie tickets sold separately.

Presented by Lutz Koepnick, Max Kade Foundation Chair in German Studies and professor of cinema and media arts at Vanderbilt University

About the seminar
When Rainer Werner Fassbinder died prematurely at age 37 in 1982, he had completed 40 feature films, 24 stage plays and two expansive television series. No director associated with the New German Cinema of Fassbinder’s time matched his restless productivity, and his at once obsessive and trenchant approach to filmmaking. In this seminar, we discuss some of the milestones of Fassbinder’s career, the historical context that energized his so-called BRD trilogy, the cinematic traditions that fueled his most well-known films, and the legacy of his cinema of melodramatic excess, queer intervention, and political critique today.

About the speaker
Lutz Koepnick is the Max Kade Foundation Chair in German Studies and a professor of cinema and media arts at Vanderbilt University, where he also directs the joint-PhD program in Comparative Media Analysis and Practice (CMAP). He received a Joint-PhD in 1994 in German Studies and Humanities from Stanford University.

Koepnick has published widely on film, media theory, visual culture, new media aesthetic, and intellectual history from the 19th to the 21st century. He is the author Resonant Matter: Sound, Art, and the Promise of Hospitality (2021); Fitzcarraldo (2019); Michael Bay: World Cinema in the Age of Populism (2018); The Long Take: Art Cinema and the Wondrous (2017); On Slowness: Toward an Aesthetic of the Contemporary (2014); Framing Attention: Windows on Modern German Culture (2007); The Dark Mirror: German Cinema between Hitler and Hollywood (2002); Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Power (1999); and of Nothungs Modernität: Wagners Ring und die Poesie der Politik im neunzehnten Jahrhundert (1994). Koepnick is the co-author of Windows | Interface (2007), [Grid ‹ › Matrix]  (2006), and the co-editor of various anthologies on ambiguity in contemporary art and theory, the culture of neoliberalism, German cinema, sound culture, new media aesthetics, aesthetic theory, and questions of exile. His current projects include a book on expanded notions of listening.

Koepnick is a member of the AOI Collaboratory at Vanderbilt University. The first season of its podcast, Art of Interference: A Podcast on Art and Climate Change, was released in spring 2023. More seasons are scheduled to be released in the years to come.