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Beyond the Baustelle: Redefining Berlin’s Contemporary Cinematic Brand as that of a Global Media City

Postlethwaite, Luke Vincent (2015) Beyond the Baustelle: Redefining Berlin’s Contemporary Cinematic Brand as that of a Global Media City. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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German unification caused a seismic shock within Berlin and this has been reflected in the studies on the city which have been released over the last two decades. In particular, Berlin has become synonymous with chaotic urban renewal, with academic discourse casting the city as a location in transition. Yet, as society moves on from the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Wall, contemporary Berlin bears little resemblance to this image of a work-in-progress city. Therefore, my aim in this thesis is to transcend recent academic debates and explore the ‘new’ city which has begun to emerge. To achieve this, I investigate the relationship which exists between Berlin and cinema. Indeed, throughout my analysis I offer an original discussion of Berlin’s contemporary cinematic image by focussing on the manner in which branding is being used to promote the city’s transformed urban space and societal structures. I start by demonstrating how the activities and marketing efforts of the city’s film professionals avoid the stereotypes of the past to promote a wholly-positive image of Berlin as a hedonistic and well-equipped global media city. This view then informs my subsequent analysis of contemporary Berlin-set films. Significantly, although these films also show Berlin to be a pleasure-seeking hub for young creatives, they project a more critical vision of the city. Above all, these films highlight the problematic dark-side which many of the city’s inhabitants have discovered to be part of Berlin’s new found global media city status. As a result, my in-depth discussion of the city’s cinematic brand demonstrates that, whilst Berlin may no longer be cast as a location in flux on screen, the city’s transformation into a creative hotspot for international pleasure-seekers has created a complex and challenging reality for many of Berlin’s inhabitants.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Berlin Cinema City Branding German Unification Vampires Drifters Spy Films Germany Normalisation Creative Class
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > German (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675000
Depositing User: Mr Luke Postlethwaite
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 13:35
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 15:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10758

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