Der Kinematograph [December 1929]

Germany’s first film trade journal, Der Kinematograph, played a prominent role in the film publishing landscape during the late Wilhelmine and Weimar periods and remains a key source for film historians today. The journal’s early history exemplifies the gradual emergence of cinema from the cinematograph, since it began as supplement to the popular variety journal Der Artist before becoming an independent publication dedicated to all aspects of the burgeoning film industry. As other scholars have pointed out, Der Kinematograph played an important role in the development of film criticism, especially after the ascension of Alfred Rosenthal to the position of chief editor in 1923. But it also covered a wide variety of topics from film history to technology to economic and juridical questions. The journal could also provide an interesting case study for the film politics of the Weimar period. In the early-1920s, it came under the control of the Scherl Verlag, run by the conservative media mogul Alfred Hugenberg (the Rupert Murdoch of his day), who would also acquire the UFA studio in 1927. This made it a prime target for left-wing groups such as the Volksverband für Filmkunst (Popular Association for Film Art), who saw Rosenthal and Hugenberg as key representatives of a capitalist mass media system dedicated to dumbing down the masses. In 1933, Der Kinematograph, like other film publications, was purged of Jewish colleagues, and the journal itself folded in 1935. —Michael Cowan, 2020

Item Details
This scan made possible by:
Media History Digital Library, Mikrofilmarchiv der deutschsprachigen Presse, in collaboration with Michael Cowan and the Department of Film Studies, University of St Andrews
Metadata last updated 2022-08-27