Siegfried Kracauer’s study of 1920s German film, published in 1947, is a classic in its own right, even though some of the cultural criticism seems a little off now. As the preface points out, you can’t have it both ways–insist that the films of Weimar Germany anticipated the Nazis and at the same time argue how the Nazis used, for instance, Lang’s crowd sculptures for their own ends. But as an overview of a very fertile decade in film, and an attempt at classification, it’s still quite useful. There’s also an interesting post script about the techniques used in Nazi propaganda, especially the “campaign films” that were the Fox News of their day.