This essay presents a little-known chapter in the film history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Alfred Andersch, founding member of Gruppe 47 and influential broadcast editor, was one of the few authors who was intensively involved with film. The essay reconstructs Andersch’s attempt to associate film and literature and thereby develop an alternative concept to the European cinéma des auteurs. To this end, the essay discusses not only Andersch’s critical writings but also a number of documents from his estate. Andersch’s film theory is evaluated in light of the contemporary literary debate on the medium. His screenplays for the adaptations of his novels Die Rote and Die Entwaffnung are used to examine the conclusions Andersch drew regarding film aesthetics in his own poetics of screenwriting. In sum, the essay reconstructs Andersch’s attempt at a literary response to the crisis of West German film around 1960.

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