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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 make reference to a spectrum of resources that I think will add sustenance and ultimately be supportive to this essay.To successfully produce an essay in relation to the German peoples ideologies and the nations social condition in the time of the production of these films we need to view the events within the nation that my have inspired Germany into this revolutionary expressionist movement in cinema.During the early 19th century Germany was in a severely bad social, political and economic position after the nation catastrophic defeat in World War 1.From this period up until the Nazi rise to power in 1933, Germany saw her film industry soar to a position of international fame leaving its world reputation and critical admiration standing second only to Hollywood, one critic gave a huge acclamation to the movement by saying, "it was the first significant attempt at the expression of a creative mind in the medium of cinematography "This dramatic development in Germanys National cinema was as unexpected as it was exceptional as it seemed to thrive through a period of adversity and hardship to produce truly inspirational films such as The Student of Prague, Dr Caligari and Metropolis to name but a few.Films like these achieved something truly unique among any other film movements of the time, that achievement is Weimar's cinema ability to optimise a country as a whole, "the country being twentieth century Germany, uneasy with itself and troubled by a modernity yet to bring more appalling disasters upon Europe"I have chosen these two films specifically as I believe they hold key components needed to develop my argument in regards to the social ideologies of Weimar Germany. These components, along with many others, are their affiliation with the Faust legend and the integration in there narratives of the creation of another self.A key issue I would like to discuss in this essay is the long debated question as to what extent German expressionist films reflect social ideologies of the time?Were all the themes, techniques and narratives predominant in German cinema purely reflections of the audience's ideologies, a mirror to society's problems if you will?Or were these films truly original and inspirational productions purely created out of the artistic aspirations of the creative mind that didn't pay attention to the demands of the society they were born in.Has it become too easy for us to simply categorise the characteristics of these expressionist films in the obvious relation to the social circumstance of war...

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