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Dr Martin Brady

Emeritus Reader in German and Film Studies

Research interests

  • Languages
  • Media

Contact details


Dr Martin Brady has been at King’s College since 1986 and teaches undergraduates in the German and Film Studies Departments. He has also taught postgraduates in the English, Comparative Literature, and Film Studies Departments. He has published on film (Straub-Huillet, Michael Haneke, Robert Bresson, experimental film, literary adaptation, GDR documentary and children’s film, Kafka films, Adorno and cinema, Brechtian cinema, Heimat 3, Downfall, Ulrich Seidl, Wim Wenders, Peter Nestler), music (Arnold Schönberg), literature (Paul Celan, Peter Handke, Adalbert Stifter), painting (Anselm Kiefer), Jewish exile architects, the portrayal of thalidomide, and foraging.

He is currently completing essays on Elfriede Jelinek, the music of Paul Dessau, Slow Cinema and Kafka adaptations. He has translated Victor Klemperer’s LTI and Alexander Kluge’s Cinema Stories (with Helen Hughes), and also works as a freelance translator and artist. At Kings he has been involved in various capacities with the German Department annual play (directing on four occasions).

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Documentary and Brechtian cinema
  • Intermediality and literary adaptation 
  • GDR cultural history

The relationship between politics and aesthetics links the research areas highlighted above, as does the question of intermediality (in particular the relationship between words and images, images and music). This research focus began with a PhD (King's, 1995) on ‘Documentation and Fiction in Straub and Huillet's Adaptations of Böll's Hauptstädtisches Journal and Billard um halbzehn’. Key themes of current research include: materiality and materialism, documentary and documentation, Marxism in the arts.

Martin would interested to hear from PhD students working on thesis related to any of his fields of research. For more details, please see Martin's full research profile.


Current undergraduate teaching in the German Department: the history of German cinema (from 1895 to the present day), Brechtian cinema and political modernism, literary adaptation, and German cinema in the period 1962-1989. Film Studies: survey course on Documentary Film from 1920 through to the 21st century. Module tutor for dissertations.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Past work includes translating and interpreting for German and Austrian filmmakers at the BFI, London Film Festival, Goethe-Institut London, in Cannes, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Ebeltoft, for production companies (including Artificial Eye); filmmakers include Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, Alexander Kluge, Michael Glawogger, Edgar Reitz, Christian Petzold. Introductions to films at the Goethe-Institut London, Tate Gallery and elsewhere. ‘Public lectures in 2014 at the Brecht-Haus in Berlin and Tate Modern in London.’

Areas of Expertise: German Cinema, Documentary and Experimental Film, Modernism (including literature, music, visual arts), intermediality, culture in the GDR.

Joint organiser and coordinator of the German Screen Studies Network (based at King's in the German Department) – inaugural symposium held at King’s July 2013.