Slow Aesthetics, Fraught Intimacy, and Queer Time in the German Queer New Wave: Sturmland and Neubau

Kyle Frackman


This article analyzes two contemporary German films for their use of slow aesthetic techniques and their engagement with displays of and challenges to notions of intimacy. Appealing to the critical concept of “precarious intimacies,” the article argues that Sturmland (2014, directed by A´ da´m Csa´szi) and Neubau (2020, directed by Johannes Maria Schmit) employ techniques of slow cinema to manipulate the films’ use, and the audience’s perception, of queer temporality. The two films are part of a transnational new wave of queer cinema first identified in 2012 and show hallmarks of slow cinema like long takes, elliptical dialog, sparse non-diegetic soundtracks, and other elements that foster a contemplative tone. Sturmland and Neubau concentrate on diverse intimate circumstances in their plots, which demonstrate that both the narrative and the medium have ramifications for perceptions of queer potential, eroticism, non-conforming gender, and physical expressions of desire. (KF)

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