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Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity$
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Victoria L. Evans

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474409391

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474409391.001.0001

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Final Chord and ‘Die Neue Welt’: The Mise-en-scène of Aufbruch1

Final Chord and ‘Die Neue Welt’: The Mise-en-scène of Aufbruch1

(p.115) Chapter Five Final Chord and ‘Die Neue Welt’: The Mise-en-scène of Aufbruch1
Douglas Sirk, Aesthetic Modernism and the Culture of Modernity

Victoria L. Evans

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 5 ("Final Chord and 'Die Neue Welt': The Mise-en-Scène of Aufbruch")examines the only film from Sirk's German period to depict twentieth-century urban life. In the prologue that the director added to the existing script, two antithetical aesthetics appear to underscore the philosophical and political disparities that distinguish a democratic New York from a Fascist Berlin. Because the architectural symbolism of each of these cities may be read both positively and negatively (from a Modernist and a National Socialist point of view), after outlining the main arguments on either side, the author then attempts to resolve the vexed question of which metropolis offers the most desirable "New World" of the future, based upon the formal and narrative evidence that is provided by the film.

Keywords:   Douglas Sirk, Final Chord, Schlussakkord, film and the city, film and architecture, Modernism, National Socialism, New York in film, Berlin in film, interdisciplinary

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