Book Section2022-01-04
What is the relationship between reenactment and repetition compulsion? By shedding light upon the different levels of reenactment at stake in Yella by Christian Petzold, I analyse the ‘transitional spaces’ where the German filmmaker places his wandering characters who have ‘slipped out of history’. In Yella Petzold mixes up past, present, future, and oneiric re-elaboration to question the memory of the past of GDR, which in his view has never really been constituted as history. The characters that populate this movie move in a setting constructed at the crossroad between a protected environment where the reenacted events are sheltered by the time and the space of the plot and a place weathered by the unpredictable atmospheric agents of the present. How and to which extent can the clash between different temporalities produce a minimal variation?
Keywords: repetition compulsion; minimal variation; German reunification; feminicide; marginal temporality
Title
Unintentional Reenactments
Subtitle
Yella by Christian Petzold
Author(s)
Clio Nicastro
Identifier
Description
What is the relationship between reenactment and repetition compulsion? By shedding light upon the different levels of reenactment at stake in Yella by Christian Petzold, I analyse the ‘transitional spaces’ where the German filmmaker places his wandering characters who have ‘slipped out of history’. In Yella Petzold mixes up past, present, future, and oneiric re-elaboration to question the memory of the past of GDR, which in his view has never really been constituted as history. The characters that populate this movie move in a setting constructed at the crossroad between a protected environment where the reenacted events are sheltered by the time and the space of the plot and a place weathered by the unpredictable atmospheric agents of the present. How and to which extent can the clash between different temporalities produce a minimal variation?
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
4 January 2022
Subject
repetition compulsion
minimal variation
German reunification
feminicide
marginal temporality
Rights
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
page start
101
page end
111
Source
Over and Over and Over Again: Reenactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory, ed. by Cristina Baldacci, Clio Nicastro, and Arianna Sforzini, Cultural Inquiry, 21 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2022), pp. 101–11

References

  • Abel, Marco, ‘The Cinema of Identification Gets on My Nerves: An Interview with Christian Petzold’, Cineaste, 33.3 (Summer 2008) <https://www.cineaste.com/summer2008/the-cinema-of-identification-gets-on-my-nerves> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • Abel, Marco, The Counter-Cinema of the Berlin School (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2013)
  • Farocki, Harun, ‘“Minimale Variation” und “semantische Generalisation”’, film. Eine deutsche Filmzeitschrift, 7.8 (August 1969), pp. 10–11
  • Fisher, Jaimey, Christian Petzold (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013) <https://doi.org/10.5406/illinois/9780252037986.001.0001>
  • Fisher, Jamey, and Robert Fischer, ‘The Cinema is a Warehouse of Memory: A Conversation Among Christian Petzold, Robert Fischer, and Jaimey Fisher’, Senses of Cinema, 84 (September 2017) <https://www.sensesofcinema.com/2017/christian-petzold-a-dossier/christian-petzold/> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • Freud, Sigmund, ‘Remembering, Repeating and Working-Through’, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, ed. and trans. by James Strachey, 24 vols (London: Hogarth, 1953–74), XII (1958), pp. 145–57
  • Freud, Sigmund, ‘Weitere Ratschläge zur Technik der Psychoanalyse: II. Erinnern, Wiederholen und Durcharbeiten’, in Freud, Studienausgabe, ed. by Alexander Mitscherlich, Angela Richards, James Strachey, and Ilse Gubrich-Simitis, 11 vols (Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer, 1969–75), Ergänzungsband: Schriften zur Behandlungstechnik (1975), pp. 205–15
  • Nicastro, Clio, ‘Undine’, Filmidee, 24 (October 2020) <https://www.filmidee.it/2020/10/undine/> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • Petzold, Christian, ‘Interview: Christian Petzold: “Gespenster irren herum”’, Rheinische Post, RP Online, 12 September 2005 <https://rp-online.de/kultur/film/christian-petzold-gespenster-irren-herum_aid-17041845> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • Weston, Hillary, ‘Missed Connections: A Conversation with Christian Petzold’, The Current: An Online Magazine Covering Film Culture Past and Present, 7 December 2018, hosted by The Criterion Collection <https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/6088-missed-connections-a-conversation-with-christian-petzold> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • La carosse d’or ( The Golden Coach) , dir. by Jean Renoir (Panaria Film, 1952)
  • Carnival of Souls, dir. by Herk Harvey (Harcourt Production, 1962)
  • The State I Am In (Die Innere Sicherheit), dir. by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, 2000)
  • Parallel, dir. by Harun Farocki (2002) <https://www.harunfarocki.de/installations/2010s/2012/parallel.html> [accessed 20 February 2021]
  • Nothing Ventured (Nicht ohne Risiko), dir. by Harun Farocki (Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, 2004)
  • Ghosts (Gespenster), dir. by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, 2005)
  • Yella, dir. by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, 2007)
  • Barbara, dir. by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, 2012)
  • Transit, dir. by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner & Weber, 2018)

Cite as: Clio Nicastro, ‘Unintentional Reenactments: Yella by Christian Petzold’, in Over and Over and Over Again: Reenactment Strategies in Contemporary Arts and Theory, ed. by Cristina Baldacci, Clio Nicastro, and Arianna Sforzini, Cultural Inquiry, 21 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2022), pp. 101-11 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-21_11>