Siegfried Kracauer

Born - Jan 1, 1889   |   Died - Nov 26, 1966   |  

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Noted film historian and theoretician Siegfried Kracauer penned the seminal Theory of Film in 1960; though greatly flawed by subjectivity and the author's bias towards neorealism, it is still considered among the most comprehensive tomes on film theory. Kracauer started out editing for the Frankfurter Zeitung in 1920 after receiving a Ph.D. from Berlin University. Remaining there through 1933, he also published academic articles and one novel. In 1941, Kracauer emigrated to the U.S. and spent a few years working at the New York Museum of Modern Art. After receiving a Guggenheim Foundation grant, he penned a critical, historical analysis of German film up to the rise of the Nazi regime, From Caligari to Hitler in 1947. Later Kracauer became a member of the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia, University.