Hansjurgen Pohlands Tobby (1961/62): Jazz, cinema verite, and the beginnings of Young German Cinema

Publisher:
Intellect Journals
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Studies in European Cinema, 2010, 7 (3), pp. 193 - 207
Issue Date:
2010-01
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This article analyses the historical significance of the lesser-known German film Tobby (1961/62), a semi-documentary portrait of the Berlin jazz singer and percussionist Toby Fichelscher. Tobby focuses on Fichelscher's grappling with a tempting offer from the commercial music industry to go on tour playing Schlager (popular) music. It was the first feature film to be made by Hansjürgen Pohland, one of the signatories to the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962, which is regarded as the founding moment of the Young, and later the New, German Cinema. The article explores how Pohland, an ardent jazz enthusiast, attempted to use a cinéma-vérité style, which itself shares much with the aesthetic principles and ideology of jazz, to create a new type of cinema taking leave from the established commercial Papas Kino (`father's cinema') of the 1950s.
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