This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Critique Of The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari As A German Expressionist Film

1265 words - 6 pages

Straight from the beginning, Robert Weine’s 1919 film, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is set to take on an expressionist form. This is made apparent by the jarring mise-en-scene and haunting performances by the actors in the film. These elements bring about an unrealistic and “obscure” (Eisner, 1973:10) quality to the film which has come to be associated with films of the expressionist era. The narrative structure set up by the framing of the film however does not support the expressionist style and thus undermines the critique of the film as an “acclaimed masterpiece of German expressionist cinema” (Andriopoulos 2009:13). This coincides with Andriopoulos’s assertion that “the conflict between ...view middle of the document...

These cinematic techniques are intended to illicit a sense of unease and weariness within the audience, it can thus be said that expressionist films are not supposed to leave the audience member at ease after viewing it, they are supposed to bring about questions and uncertainty. The framing created by the prologue and epilogue in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari dispel the uncertainty that is supposed to have been felt by the viewer and can thus not truly be considered to be an expressionist film in the fullest sense of the creative movement.
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari possesses many of the aesthetic elements of expressionism. The mise-en-scene in particular appears to be out of an expressionist artwork, as Reimer (2008) notes, the visuals pay homage to the expressionism paintings of the 1900s and 1910s (71). The fictional town, Holstenwall, in which the narrative is set, is represented by long, angular shapes which are as Kracauer observes “strongly reminiscent of gothic patterns” (1946:69). Houses are odd and crookedly shaped and run along roads of equal obscurity. There is an overwhelming use of shadows within the film and dark shading along the walls of the set that bring about an eerie and ghostly feel to the town. Despite not being visually appealing, the aesthetically disturbing set design is effective as it helps illicit an emotional response from the audience. “The psychic reaction caused in the spectator by oblique lines is entirely different from that caused in him by straight lines [...] unexpected curves and sudden ups and downs provoke emotions quite different from those induced by harmonious and gentle gradients” (Kurtz, as cited in, Eisner 1973:21). This is the case especially in the scene in which Jane is taken by Cesare. Jane lies asleep in her bed, in the right hand side of the frame we see Cesare climb through her bedroom window – which rather than the traditional square or rectangular shape, takes on a distorted trapezium-like form. The furniture and walls of the house are also slanted and Cesare’s movements create the illusion that “the walls had exuded him” (Illus, as cited in, Kracauer 1946:70) in that his movements are slow and steady, almost as though he oozes from the unnerving, angular set of Jane’s bedroom. The set thus acts as a means of building tension and heightening the audience’s sense of fear, in this way a psychological horror is experienced before the physical horror of seeing Cesare take Jane occurs. This can be seen as an emulation of the psychological and physical trauma Reimer (2008) claims the Germans to have felt after the war (72).
The expressionist movement is said to be a response to World War 1 and the aftermath thereof. The style now characterised as German Expressionism rose out of the extreme social and...

Find Another Essay On A Critique of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari as a German Expressionist Film

Dickens' Hard Times as a Critique of the Educational System

2270 words - 9 pages Dickens' Hard Times as a Critique of the Educational System            Industrialization made Victorian England a brave new world.  A world bereft of justice, humanity and emotion.  In Hard Times, Dickens critiques this world in several ways; it's pollution problems, factory accidents, divorce laws, utilitarian ideals, and educational system.  The goal of this essay is to focus strictly on Dickens critique of the educational system which

Aime Cesaire's The Tempest as a Critique of Colonialism

1042 words - 4 pages Aime Cesaire's play A Tempest, written in 1969, was written in a time of increasing pressure for decolonization and black civil and national rights. Following, World War II colonial peoples set about to reinvent their futures as all the great nations were in some way disconcerted by the war. Anti-colonial leaders saw an opportunity to make nations of their colonies. Cesaire promoted decolonization throughout his life being one of the key figures

Significance of Treaty of Versailles as a Factor in Explaining the German Hyperinflation of 1923

890 words - 4 pages Significance of Treaty of Versailles as a Factor in Explaining the German Hyperinflation of 1923 In 1923, Germany saw a rapid increase in inflation which reached unprecedented levels. In January of that year, one US Dollar was equal to 17,792 Marks, but by November a Dollar was equal to 200,000,000,000 Marks. This was the highest rate of inflation ever seen and had far reaching social as well as economic consequences. The

The Existence of A German Revolution

1702 words - 7 pages fundamental changes to the political system that came as a result the uprisings. Therefore it can be said that whilst it is easy to assume that there was a German revolution on closer inspection the events cannot match to the definition of revolution.

A critical comparison of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde original book version vs. a film version of the story

1200 words - 5 pages the film and book. There are several elements or subplots that were evident in the movie version of the novel that was nowhere to be found in the book. The most influential character in the movie believe it or not, appeared to be Ivy Pearson; a common whore to some, however, a "metamorphic" tool to this great classic. The capacity of this plot is to serve as a portrayal of the division that exists in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.In the movie we are

Critique of the state of the web as a media for the conduct of social relations

838 words - 3 pages The effect of web as a media on social relations is obvious but elusive. Nobody really notices it happening but obviously and slowly, it is happening. In this essay, I want to talk about specifically the relationship between a few groups of people and how they are affected but the web as media, the relationship between student and teacher, employer and employee and the relationship among friends. It is also rather paradoxical to say that the

The Battle of Britain as a Turning Point in the Defeat of German in World War Two

3385 words - 14 pages The Battle of Britain as a Turning Point in the Defeat of German in World War Two By June 1940, Hitler had conquered six of the European Nations. Hitler offered to make peace with Britain, after deciding that he believed Britain to be in no state to fight. At the time, Britain's Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, rejected the peace offering, refusing to make any deals with Germany. This created a problem for Hitler, as his

Critique of a Website

1611 words - 6 pages altogether new medium of information exchange. Now, all of this talk of togetherness is actually a general reference to basic design principles, such as color coordination, if color is used, text size, font choice/ style, art integration, accessibility, and just plain and simple design of the page. For example, it wouldn't be all that appealing to the eyeball if a page being viewed had all the text jumbled up in a corner, so small your eyes were

A Critique of Suspense

762 words - 4 pages Sariah Durrant Essay A Critique of Suspense Evaluations Done On The Cask of Amontillado Throughout history, many renowned writers have been noticed for certain aspects of their work. Whether it be fiction or non-fiction, the authors always seem to have one general theme that goes about their stories. The all too well known intro, climax, and conclusion. It almost seems boring when you come to realize that it is in nearly every single book

Critique of a Blogpost

793 words - 4 pages So I found this article via a Facebook friend. The following comment is what I wrote on that friends wall. I felt it only appropriate to allow the author to read and respond to my criticism. So, as black man who's, currently, very irreligious but was a Christian for 15 years, my perspective on this article may be different from that of the author's. While I think the author of this article has internalized the patriarchy inherent to many

A critique on Henry Fielding As The First Novelist of English Language

2117 words - 8 pages About Henry Fielding:Henry Fielding was born in Sharpham Park, Somerset, England, on April 22, 1707, and died in Lisbon on 8th October 1754. He was a great novelist and a playwright. His contribution to the Novel as a form of expression has been fundamental, and he is therefore known as the founder of English Novel. His major works in the field of Novel include Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones.Biography: Life before NovelFielding belonged to a

Similar Essays

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari Essay

1314 words - 5 pages The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the first film by Germany to be an Expressionist film. Authorities of an avant-garde movement believed that by using Expressionism in films (as they did in paintings, theater, literature, and architecture) this might be a selling point in the international market. The film proved that to be true and because of its success other films in the Expressionist style soon followed

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari In Relation To German

1849 words - 7 pages The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' in relation to German Expressionist film. Robert Weine's 1919 film, 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari', is recognised to be a staple and seminal example of the sorts of characteristics found in German Expressionist cinema of this period.Although the film was made near the end of what is often referred to as 'The Expressionist Decade' (1910 - 1920), it is also considered to be the film that first applied an

Analyse Any One Film Or Group Of Films In Relation To Its Social And Ideological Context: "The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari" Along With "The Student Of Prague"

2611 words - 10 pages I have chosen two films that I hope will forge a good foundation for the arguments in this forthcoming essay.Firstly I'm going to look at a film that can be viewed as one of the original productions to come out of the early German horror genre, Stellan Rye's "The Student of Prague" directed in 1913 and then secondly to build on the arguments raised in my essay I will look at "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" Directed in 1919 by Robert Wiene.I will

The Historical Context Of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligar

1044 words - 5 pages The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920’s German silent-horror film. Robert Weine, the director, collaborated with the German cinematographer, Willy Hameister to create this German Expressionist masterpiece. The idea was taken from the screenplay written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Meyer. It is also considered one of the greatest horror films during the silent period. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and its historical context in terms of the German