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uni'alumni 2015_ENG

Hannah Arendt, John Keating and Mr. Sylvester SURVEY Isabell Wiedle asked cinema buffs what film they associate with the University of Freiburg Dr. Franz Leithold, University Library, Head of the Media Center and Library Director: “I associate the film Herr Sylvester stellt Erwägungen an (“Mr. Sylvester Considers Things”) with the University of Freiburg, a not very well known but very original film the aka film club produced on its own in 1959. It’s about 17 minutes long and is about Mr. Sylvester, a student who wakes up in the morning and can’t decide on anything. He doesn’t know what clothes he should wear, he doesn’t know what film he’d like to see at the movie theater, and so on. That’s the entire film. One of the reasons I like it so much is because the main role was played by Heinz Meier, a well-known Freiburg actor I’m a big fan of who passed away in 2013. Meier studied at the University of Freiburg and ran the Freiburg Wallgraben Theater from 1957 to 2003. He ended up being known nationwide because he acted in a lot of Loriot sketches.” Eva Schauerte, research assistant at the Department of Media Culture Studies:: “The film that springs to my mind is Dead Poets Society, first of all because of the stately architecture of our old collegiate buildings and the occasional fog over Freiburg, which reminds me of the film’s setting. In addition, a sense of tradition plays a big role in the film. Whereas in the film this has more negative connotations, what I find fascinating about the University of Freiburg is that old and traditional fields are also willing to experiment with new research programs. The relatively young field of media culture studies sometimes reminds me of the teacher in the film, John Keating, who needs to break with traditions to open up new horizons. Luckily, our university welcomes innovative research and teaching – unlike in the film.” Lena Prisner, deputy chair of the aka film club: “Since I’ve been a member of the aka film club for almost three years and deputy chair since July 2014, I automatically associate the film club with the University of Freiburg – and especially the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This film has a special place in our hearts at aka. We’ve had it in the program every year for the past five years. It’s bizarre and funny and invites the audience to sing along and participate. Things you should bring with you to a screening include rice, a water pistol, toast, and toilet paper – if you’ve seen the film before at the aka film club, you’ll know what I mean. After the screening, we always hold a costume party at which one can dress up like in the film. The whole evening is a lot of fun and a must for all students of the University of Freiburg.” Photo:private Photo:private Gabriele Schoder, arts editor at the Badische Zeitung: “Margarethe von Trotta’s biographical film Hannah Arendt comes to mind – not just because the philosopher, political theorist, and journalist studied at the University of Freiburg for a semester in 1926, or because of her love affair with the later rector of the university Martin Heidegger, but because the fearlessness of her thought can serve as a model for all students: Under the impression of the Eichmann trial, she was the first to identify the horrible banality of evil. And yet, the independent, bold thinker was the ‘eternal girl’ of the great philosopher Heidegger, with whom she never really broke, despite his misguided association with the Nazi Party and his inability to truly distance himself from it after the war. Was that dependence, love, inconsistency? The film is perfect for getting into heated conversations.” Photo:private Photo:private uni'alumni 2015 University News 29