Join us for an afternoon workshop on DEFA documentary filmmaker Jürgen Böttcher (b. 1931) at King’s College London. We will screen and discuss examples of Böttcher’s early works from the 1960s: three very different films produced just a few years after the building of the Wall.


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Barefoot and Without a Hat (Barfuß und ohne Hut, 1964) is an upbeat portrait of young people on the beach making music and thinking about their future. Seemingly innocuous, the film was not well-received by the censors, who felt its free-wheeling, faintly anarchic tone was potentially subversive. In the Pergamon Museum (Im Pergamonmuseum, 1962) is a wordless study of looking, of sculptures in the famous Berlin museum looking at the visitors and vice-versa. Finally, Zoo Film (Tierparkfilm, 1967) is also about spectatorship as we watch the camera capture the visitors staring at the animals.


Speakers Franziska Nössig and Martin Brady will discuss Gerhard Rosenfeld’s scores, the cinematography of Christian Lehmann, and the ambiguous iconography of these beautiful and potentially subversive studies of looking and being looked at and the boundaries between the public and the private.


The workshop is free to attend, but registration via Eventbrite is required.


The workshop is part of "Conjuring up the Real: The Films of Jürgen Böttcher", a film series at the Goethe-Institut and Close-Up Film Centre from 23 October – 21 November 2019, and is staged in collaboration with the German Screen Studies Network and King's College London. The full programme of the series is available here.


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