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Encounters on a Street Corner: Sommer vorm Balkon and the Return of the Berlin Film


Sommer vorm Balkon has received critical acclaim for its director’s specific brand of low-key and crowd-pleasing realism. Praised have been also the film’s stylistic austerity and peculiar post-unification mix of various generic elements. At the same time, Sommer vorm Balkon can be considered a part of the venerable tradition of earlier Berlin films written by Wolfgang Kohlhaase, a tradition that this latest work draws from and reinvents. Instead of looking at the film exclusively as an example of the work of two auteurs, this paper analyzes it as a case of creative intervention into the historical interplay of place and cinema. This collaboration between the representatives of two different generations of filmmakers (Dresen and Kohlhaase) consciously transforms this Berlin film into an archive of urban memories – buried memories from preceding decades, cinematic memories, as well as memories that are now in the making.

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