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"American Sniper": How to Win a Lost War in the Cinema (2014, Clint Eastwood)
Lecture and film screening in the Deutsches Filmmuseum II within the framework program of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" for the exhibition
"Under Arms. Fire & Forget 2"
Prof. Dr. Vincent Hediger (Professor of Film Studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders")
Thursday, March 16, 2017, 8.15 p.m.
German Film Museum
Schaumainkai 41, Frankfurt am Main
"American Sniper" by Clint Eastwood is the most successful Hollywood film about the Iraq war to date. The main character, Chris Kyle, is a sniper who, according to the US military, killed at least 168 enemy fighters with long-range shots during his missions in Iraq In combat missions, Kyle became something of a television war hero. He appeared alongside musicians, comedians and actors on the Late Night Talk shows and reported on his successes. Eventually he himself became the victim of an act of violence: a mentally ill veteran he helped care for, shot him in a shooting range. Played by Bradley Cooper, one of the most popular young film stars of today, this character is at the center of the film by Clint Eastwood, who originally became famous as a western hero - among other things through the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone - and as a director for the late-western "Unforgiven" won his first Oscar in 1994. The lecture reads Eastwoods Film as an attempt to retrospectively choose the sniper as a hero in an asymmetrical war that the Americans had already lost at the beginning. The lecture is based on a quote from Frantz Fanon about the Algerian war, with which the writer and resistance fighter referred to the particularly committed work of landowners in the torture units of the French military: "In times of crisis, the cowboy pulls out his cannon and his instruments of torture" .
Vinzenz Hediger, born in 1969, is professor of film studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. He received his doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1999 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the film studies department there until 2004. In 2004 he was appointed to the newly created Krupp endowed chair for theory and history of documentary forms at the Ruhr University in Bochum, which he held until he moved to Frankfurt in 2011. His research focuses on film theory and research into non-canonical film formats such as science and industrial films. He is the founding editor of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (www.zfmedienwissenschaft.de. Most recently published: Essays on film philosophy (together with C. Voss, L. Engell, O. Fahle, Fink 2015).
Museum of Applied Art in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" in further cooperation with the German Film Museum
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