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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
This text reconnects M to its significance as an event in 1931 Germany, recapturing the film's extraordinary social and symbolic energy. Interweaving close reading with cultural history, Anton Kaes reconstitutes M as a modernist artwork. He also analyzes Joseph Losey's 1951 film noir remake.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 26th 2000 by British Film Institute
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Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: silverscreen
Bits of Mabuse and Doblin percolate in the Weimar of our imagination. Red Rosa is tossed into the Landwehr while Sally Bowles sings for lost love, placating her daddy issues until the burning of the Reichstag.

I read half before viewing the film and then the second half after pausing midway through Lang's masterpiece. This is a meticulous analysis of 1931 Berlin and the Brechtian daimon of Peter Lorre. There is considerable context on the recent phenomenon of serial killing in this mass society,
Anton Kaes's little book on M is a really fantastic book. A lot has been written about M and I haven't read much of it, so I don't know how this book compares to others. But it's a really accessible and easy approach to the film that picks the scenes apart really well. Kaes is looking at the film as a reflection of the time, addressing Fascism and the idea of total mobilization, among other things. Super interesting analysis of one of Fritz Lang's finest films.
S. Wilson
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anton Kaes provides an extremely valuable in-depth examination of Fritz Lang's M, exploring this classic German film not only based on cinematic craft, but the historical, social, and political contexts that informed and are reflected by Lang's masterful directorial craft. Kaes devotes large sections of the book to the historical climate in Germany at the time that are alluded to in the film and/or inspired it, including the repercussions of World War I and the real-life serial killer that captu ...more
Patrick McCoy
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film, criticism
I was aware of the reputation of Fritz Lang's M, when I saw Jean-Luc Goddard's Contempt, in which Lang had a role. This inspired me to finally see the film and I found it to be a powerful, classic film. Anton Kaes, a Chancellor's Professor of German and Film Studies at the University of California Berkeley, looks at the film in the context of its cultural history and analyzes the books social and symbolic energy. The book is divided into six sections. The first is "Berlin, 1931" gives the cultur ...more
Andrew Bishop
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
A superb analysis of Lang's film and its Weimar era German context. You have to be familiar with the film or Lang's work to really appreciate the close read that Kaes employs to discuss the film's strengths but it also works to show the depth of Lang's social commentary. The historical context for the film that's the book's other concern is equally valuable. I'm more keen on the Mabuse films but Kaes does such a good job here it reveals the strengths in Lang's cinema generally. But read this boo ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film
A brilliant book for a brilliant movie. M is amazing!
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