CineGraph - Hamburgisches Centrum für Filmforschung e.V.

CineGraph is a professional research association based in Hamburg, Germany. Its primary goals are:

  • promotion of film research,
  • dissemination of research results to professionals and the public through conferences, seminars, screenings, exhibitions, publications (both conventional and electronic), and
  • consultancy and support for research projects.

This Web site offers a fair amount of text from various CineGraph publications, along with announcements and some background information. We regularly add material from conferences and other events so that most of this can be viewed independent of time and location. Since Web sites carrying several hundred pages rarely get complete coverage by public search services, this site is running its own search engine.

Scope of Activities

CineGraph approaches the history of cinema as a more general history of media, i.e. by portraying the complex interactions between aesthetics, technology, politics, and economy in the context of contemporary history.

The research center is also the editorial office of CineGraph - Lexikon des deutschsprachigen Films. For an overview in English see the preface and the editorial policy statement.

Events and Publications (all pages in German)

    CineGraph Buch - a book series based on the annual conferences for the history of cinema.

    FilmMaterialien - an occasional series with background materials related to film screenings organized by CineGraph.

    Film-Kurier-Index - an index to Germany's most important daily cinema periodical, 1919 to 1945.

    Berliner Film-Ateliers - a small lexicon of studios in and around Berlin throughout this century (full texts online).

    Film und Gesellschaft in der DDR - a two-year retrospective of East German cinema, 1988/89.

    Das Ufa-Buch - an illustrated history of Germany's largest film and cinema trust.

    Stummfilm und Musik - an 1994 event devoted to music for silent films.

    FILMtext - a commented series of screenplays for German cinema classics.

The Beginning

At the end of the seventies, Hans-Michael Bock and Hans Helmut Prinzler (from 1990 head of the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek) developed the concept for a loose-leaf lexicon intended to become a fact-based research tool for the history of cinema. Starting in 1984, CineGraph - Lexikon zum deutschsprachigen Film is published by edition text + kritik in Munich. The lexicon is edited by Hans-Michael Bock (senior editor), Jörg Schöning und Wolfgang Jacobsen.

Internationally recognized as a standard reference work, this lexicon encompasses German, Austrian, and Swiss cinematography with a special focus on exiled artists. The loose-leaf collection is updated with two or three supplements per year. Comprising a current total of thirty-one shipments, this reference work now offers bio-filmographies of over 850 directors, actors, technicians and film writers.

Workshops and Conferences

From the very beginning, the editoral work was generously supported by the Hamburg Municipal Cinema (Initiative Kommunales Kino), led by Heiner Ross. One result of this co-operation were public workshops taking place in the Metropolis municipal cinema. Subjects of these workshops were individual artists such as Siegfried Arno and Kurt Gerron, a series »Ehe das Lachen verging« about Jewish comedians in pre-1933 films, and the 70th anniversary of Ufa in 1987.

Since 1988, CineGraph regularly hosts an International Conference on the History of Cinema. This annual event is accompanied by public showings of films related to the conference subject. Both the conference and the screenings were made possible by many co-operating institutions such as the Metropolis cinema, the Filmbüro Hamburg, the GDR State Film Archives (until 1990), Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek and German Historical Museum in Berlin, whose own cinema (Zeughauskino) hosts an annual pre-conference screening in May. Since 1990, the German Federal Film Archive (Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv) is an official co-organizer of the CineGraph Annual Conference.

The first conferences were devoted to indiviual, almost forgotten artists from the twenties:

  • 1988 Reinhold Schünzel - Sinnlicher Schurke, beschwingter Komödiant;
  • 1989 Lumpen und Seide - Richard Oswald, Regisseur und Produzent;
  • 1990 Agenten, Abenteuer & Amouren - Die Atelierwelten des Regisseurs und Produzenten Joe May;
  • 1991 Grand Hotel Babylon - Die Nachtwelten des Autors und Regisseurs E. A. Dupont.

Subsequently, interest shifted to the interweavings between the German film industry and those of other European countries prior to the Second World War, summarized under the heading, »Film-Europa«:

  • 1992 London Calling - Deutsche im britischen Film der dreißiger Jahre;
  • 1993 Schwarzer Traum und weiße Sklavin - Deutsch-dänische Filmbeziehungen 1910-1920;
  • 1994 Fantaisies russes - Russische Filmmacher in Berlin und Paris 1920-1930;
  • 1995 Allô? Berlin? Ici Paris! - Französisch-deutsche Filmbeziehungen zwischen den Weltkriegen.

The current conference series traces the early development of particular genres:

Papers and discussion summaries from the CineGraph conferences are published regularly in book form by edition text + kritik.

A Center for Cinema Research

Encouraged by the success of the first conference, the editors decided to register CineGraph as a professional, non-profit organisation. The idea was to have a corporate body as a focus for the growing number of activities. Since August, 1989, CineGraph - Hamburgisches Centrum für Filmforschung e.V. has managed to build up international recognition through publications and conferences.

While the first conferences were still co-sponsored on an individual basis, CineGraph began to receive institutional funding from the Hamburg Municipal Office of Cultural Affairs (Kulturbehörde) in 1993. This funding secures the basic infrastructure and thus the continuity for various on-going research projects.

From the very beginning, CineGraph has cooperated closely with the Metropolis Municipal Cinema, the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek (Berlin), the German Federal Film Archive (Bundesarchiv, Berlin) and the Gesellschaft für Filmstudien (GFS, Hannover). International cooperation partners are (among others): Projecto Lumière (Lisbon), the British Film Institute (London), Det Danske Filmmuseum (Copenhagen), and the Nederlands Filmmuseum (Amsterdam).

July, 1998