Art and Time | Media


Kalte Probe / Cold Rehearsal, Film, 2013 (A/D), Constanze Ruhm & Christine Lang

Departing from the film Kalte Probe / Cold Rehearsal (D/A, 2013), co-produced by Christine Lang and Constanze Ruhm, the discussion of feminist forms of narrative and presentation in film history as well as contemporary production, is the central topic of the winter term 2018.

details below…

Kalte Probe / Cold Rehearsal narrates in an anarchic nested manner the story of Hans, a once-famous, successful director (modeled on Jean-Luc Godard) whose career has bottomed out. While he, now employed as a cleaner instead of a director, mops up the show-stairs in a film studio, he stumbles, slips on a banana peel, tumbles down the stairs and dies. But before his soul can finally cross over to the hereafter, a few open accounts have to be settled: it turns out that Hans’ deadly accident is part of a large-scale production, which was dreamt up by some of his also deceased former actresses, who spend their time jobless and bored in hell. Hans finds himself in a media-serial narrative nightmare in which he has to meet the important women of his life once again: the actresses, the nanny Ewa, his mother Irina – and, last but not least, he meets a child in a nature park, which he recognizes as a former version of himself. Finally, Hans realizes that he is actually dead. In Kalte Probe / Cold Rehearsal, the filmmakers refer to a variety of films, to literature (history) and above all to aesthetic, feminist and psychoanalytic theories. On the level of the screenplay as well its filmic mise-en-scene, the film is based on direct quotations and indirect allusions. For our seminar, these quotes serve as points of departure for various excursions into film history as well as theoretical discourses. In-depth treatment will be devoted to exemplary films by directors who have developed modes and methods of a feminist, aesthetic critique.

Since the beginning of film history, the cinematic fictional work of women has been permeated by a very specific question: how can one succeed in revealing and questioning the implicit mechanisms of hegemonic, linear-causal narrative forms and the patriarchal structures inscribed in them? How can one create new narratives that, while complying with the order of narration, at the same time undermine it? How can one show that the social order could be represented quite differently than it is repeatedly postulated in the cosmos of fictional narratives and thus expressed as natural and inevitable? Les résultats du féminisme, “The Results of Feminism” – the title of the first decidedly feminist film in film history, realized by Alice Guy Blaché in1906 ­– are far from being established or fulfilled, but rather remain a future project for feminist work in film. (Christine Lang, Constanze Ruhm)


  • Les résultats du féminisme (Alice Guy Blaché, F 1906)
  • The Mother and the Law (D. W. Griffith USA 1919)
  • Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück (Piel Jutz D 1929)
  • Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock USA 1960)
  • Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda F 1965)
  • Neun Leben hat die Katze (Ula Stöckl D 1965)
  • Daisies (Věra Chytilová, Czech Republic 1966)
  • Lives of Performers (Yvonne Rainer USA 1972)
  • La Maman et la putain (Jean Eustache F 1973)
  • A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes USA 1974)
  • What Maisie Knew (Babette Mangolte USA 1975)
  • Mutter Küsters Fahrt zum Himmel (Rainer Werner Fassbinder D 1975)
  • News From Home (Chantal Akerman B 1977)
  • The Camera: Je (La Camera: I) (Babette Mangolte USA 1977)
  • Riddles of the Sphinx (Laura Mulvey / Peter Wollen UK 1977)
  • Die allseits reduzierte Persönlichkeit (Helke Sanders D 1978)
  • Gloria (John Cassavetes USA 1980)
  • Gold Diggers (Sally Potter UK 1983)
  • Una ora sola ti vorrei (Alina Marazzi I 2005)
  • Kalte Probe/Cold Rehearsal (Constanze Ruhm/Christine Lang A/D 2013)
  • May Lady (Rahkshan Bani-Etemad, Iran 1998)
  • The Report (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran, 1977)
  • Djamilia / Jamila (Aminatou Echard, 2018)


  • Tom Gunning, The Cinema of Attraction: Early Cinema, the Spectator and the Avant-Garde
  • Catherine Grant, Secret Agents: Feminist Theories of Women’s Film Authorship
  • Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
  • Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen, Theory Film as Essay Film
  • Laura Mulvey, Gleaning, Detournement and Compilation Film
  • Interview with Laura Mulvey on Riddles of the Sphinx


Sara Ahmed,‚Feminist Killjoys’ The Promise of Happiness, (Durham 2010)

Mary Anne Doane, The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s (Theories of Representation and Difference), (Indiana University Press 1987)

Delphine Benezet, The Cinema of Agnes Varda: Resistance and Eclecticism (2014)

Rike Frank, Constanze Ruhm – Coming Attractions (Schleebrügge Editor, 2012)

E. Ann Kaplan, Motherhood and Representation. The Mother in Popular Culture and Melodrama. Feminism, Psychoanalysis and the Material American Melodrama (Taylor & Francis 1992)

Patricia Mellencamp, Situation Comedy, Feminsism and Freud. Doscourses of Gracie and Lucy. In: Studies in Entertainment Critical Approaches to Mass Culture. Theories of contemporary culture 7, edited by Tania Modleski, 80-95. (Bloomington, Ind. (et al): Indiana Univ.-Press, 1986)

Laura Mulvey/Anna Backman Rogers, Diversity, Difference and Multiplicity in Contemporary Film Cultures (Amsterdam University Press 2015)

Asma Sayed (Ed.), Screening Mothers. Motherhood in Contemporary World Cinema(Demeter Press 2016)

Alexandra Schantl, Constanze Ruhm / Re: Rehearsals (No Such Thing as Repetition)(Kerber Verlag, 2015)

Kaja Silverman, The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Film(Indiana University Press 1988)

Sally Potter, Naked Cinema (Faber & Faber 2014)

Giuliana Bruno, Streetwalking on a Ruined Map: Cultural Theory and the City Films of Elvira Notari (Princeton University Press 1993)

Seminar Christine Lang (further details to be announced)

(13. 12. 2018, 11.00 – 18.00, 14. 12. 2018, 10.00 – 14.00)

Christine Lang (filmmaker, cultural scientist, dramaturge) will hold a two-day seminar on December 13 and 14, which engages with the issues of this semester and will address a range of feminist positions in German film history. The seminar also serves as a preparation for and introduction to our planned excursion to the Berlinale 2019 between February 6 and 12, which will deal with feminist film history from Germany in the 60s, 70s and 80s as part of a large-scale retrospective. (Detailed list of literature to follow)

Films (selection)

  • Zur Sache Schätzchen (May Spils, D 1968)
  • 9 Leben hat die Katze (Ula Stöckl, D 1968)
  • Warum ist Frau B. glücklich? (Erika Runge, D 1968)
  • Kennen Sie Urban (Ingrid Reschke D 1971)
  • Das zweite Erwachen der Christa Klages (Margarethe von Trotta, D 1973)
  • Die Taube auf dem Dach (Iris Gusner, DDR 1973/1990)
  • Die bleierne Zeit (Margarethe von Trotta, D 1975)
  • Tue Recht und scheue niemand (Jutta Brückner, D 1975)
  • Unter dem Pflaster liegt der Strand (Helke Sanders-Brahms, D 1975)
  • Redupers… Die allseits reduzierte Persönlichkeit (Helke Sander, D 1977)
  • Heim (Angelika Andrees / Petra Tschörtner, DDR 1978)
  • Ich denke oft an Hawaii (Elfi Mikesch, D 1979)
  • Von wegen Schicksal (Helga Reidemeister, D 1979)
  • Kribus, Krabus, Domine (Tatarotti, I 1980)
  • Etwas tut weh (Recha Jungman, D 1980)
  • Das Fahrrad (Evelyn Schmidt, DDR 1980)
  • Die Reise nach Lyon (Claudia von Aleman, D 1980)
  • Carola Bloch, dann nimmt die Frau die Geschicke in die Hand (Helga Reidemeister, D 1982)
  • Peppermint Fieden (M. Rosenbaum, D 1983)
  • Kaskade Rückwärts (Iris Gusner, DDR 1984)
  • Die Wahrheit um den Froschkönig (Sieglinde Hamacher, DDR 1985)
  • Wer fürchtet sich vorm schwarzen Mann (Helke Misselwitz, D 1989)
  • Prenzlauer Berg (Petra Tschörtner DDR 1990)
  • Der gläserne Himmel (Nina Grosse, D 1987)
  • Im Kreise der Lieben (Henrike Huntgeburth, D 1991)
  • Leise Schatten (Sherry Horman, D 1992)
  • Nie wieder schlafen (Pia Frankenberg, D 1992)
  • Keiner liebt mich (Doris Dörrie, D 1994)
  • Das Glück meiner Schwester (Angela Schanelec, D 1995)
  • Bandits (Katja von Garnier, D 1997)


Oct 17 – 2pm Class Meeting – Presentations

Oct 24 – 11am Single Crits

Oct 31 – 2pm Class Meeting – Presentations

Nov 7 – 11am Single Crits

Nov 14 – 2pm Class Meeting – Les résultats du féminisme Pt. 1

Nov 21 – 2pm Class Meeting – Les résultats du féminisme Pt. 2

Nov 28 – 12 am Rundgang Meeting

Nov 28 – 3pm Class Meeting – Les résultats du féminisme Pt. 3

Dec 12 – 11am Single Crits

Dec 13/14 – 11am Seminar Christine Lang

Jan 9.2019 – 2pm Class Meeting – Presentations

Jan 16.2019 – 2pm Class Meeting – Presentations

Jan 24. 1. – 27. 2019 Academy Rundgang

Event Tips

Wed 24.10.2018, 7pm , Wendelien van Oldenborgh , Mumok Kino & Ausstellung im Significant Other

Tue 06.11. and Wed 07.11., Christiana Perschon: Sie ist der andere Blick, Viennale

Wed 14.11. – 7pm, Nina Yuen Screening, Mumok Kino

Thu 15.11. 7pm Roberto Winter, Artist Talk

Fri 30.11. 4pm Framed Existences, Golden Pixel Cooperative, Medienwerkstatt Wien