Get Instant Help From 5000+ Experts For
question

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing:Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

And Improve Your Grades
myassignmenthelp.com
loader
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Guaranteed Higher Grade!
Free Quote
wave

Introduction to German Expressionism Movement

Discuss about the Film Studies for Original Film Score for Orchestra.

The idea of German Expressionism refers to the many creative movements that started in Berlin, Germany before the beginning of the First World War. These movements begun in the decade of the 1920s and the developments were a small part of the Expressionist movement based in the European culture that includes the aspects of architecture, painting and film making. This movement was so iconic that it created many famous works and therefore led to Neo-expressionism. This movement was largely restricted within the country due to the isolation of Germany during the First World War The government event took the length to ban foreign films within the country and ordered the theaters to produce films within the country (Tortolani). Germans always considered themselves as very proud and wanted to show their grandeur through their films. There was almost no sign of poverty within the films and they showed rich and grand characters. This is to depict visualization to the international audience that Germany was ahead in very aspects in contrast to them. This not only created a positive impressions amongst the German people but also people all over the world started to appreciate German films after the decrease of the anti-German sentiment following the end of World War I. However when the ban was completely removed in the year of 1916, Germany had become a part of the international film industry (Bordwell, Thompson and Smith). During the 1920s, Europe wanted to embrace a change in ethic and a will to look to the future by experimenting with bold, new and artistic implementations and ideas. The first few films from the expressionism movement made up for the lack of high and lavish budget by the use of non realistic geometrically absurd angles, unusual set designs and strange design painting on walls and the floors to represent light or shadow. The themes of the films revolve mainly on madness, betrayal and ideas that were highlighted by the experiences of the World War. The films were against the concept of realism and used extreme expression to highlight the inner emotional reality of a human being rather that to how what is actually outside (Forceville and Thijs). During this time period, these silent films were far ahead of Hollywood and films outside of Germany benefited immensely from the migration of the film makers and the style and techniques of the expressionist films that were shown on the screen. Even after the war, Germany was stripped out of power and held responsible for the cause of the war, which led to guilt and isolation of the German people; therefore they brought forth the art of expressionism. 

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

According to J. P. Telotte views, the ideas were highlighted in a strange and yet reflective manner that made the audience to see something that was not thought possible before and yet it gave a rich flavor to the art overall. The two main genres that were mainly influenced by the Expressionism movement were horror and film noir. The German director then started to bring in supernatural concepts and brought forth famous horror films of the silent era. This later on set the path for dark monster and ghost movies and they also influenced iconic directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Michael Curtiz and many more those who followed the same concept like the German director before them and they brought forth many iconic films to the world. However the entire anti-realism movement was short and faded away after a few years. But as discussed previously, the concept lived on even for films that are made today (McCarron). The ideas of horror, science fiction, mystery and other elements combined together and brought forth this genre. In the following discussion, the three films which actually represented the German Expressionism movement are discussed and what they wanted represented in their films. The three films chosen for this discussion are The Cabinet of Dr. Calugari, Metropolis and Nosferatu.   

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is normally the start of every discussion of an expressionist film. Despite the fact possesses certain stylistic elements that become known with the tradition. This is mainly because the film is credited with making the concept of cinematic expressionism known to all. It brings forth the avant-garde concept to screen in a fashionable manner which has made the cinematic practice more conventional. The co-authors Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer created a story that goes against the concept of absolute authority which has been shown in the recent World War. It shows a story of a somnambulist who kills under the guidance of Dr. Caligari. This story is revolve around this insane doctor who hold Cesare the somnambulist captive and he hypnotizes him into committing crimes of murder. At the conclusion, it is revealed that the story is told from the perspective of a man named Francis who is actually an inmate form the insane asylum of the doctor himself. The town is a representation if the fantasy of Francis which he has created in his mind to cope with the situation he is in. These thoughts create an alternate world where he did not murder his friend and he gets to blame the doctor and Cesare. This is a striking reflection to the denial after being forced to take the blame which is the cause of the war (Monica). The status of the doctor is shown as a high member of the peaceful society, his attire and his appearance embodies the figure of rich and powerful. The doctor is a clear representation of the German government during the First World War, whereas Cesare is the status of the common man who has been hypnotized to kill, his representation is of the German soldiers of the war who were sent to kill without any kind of sympathy by the government. Cesare dependence on his master is so high that he cannot wander too far or else he would collapse.  Just like a machine after getting run out of fuel. The cinematography also plays a role in the portrayal of these two characters, Caligari is filmed from low angles to make him look powerful, whereas Cesare is filmed from higher angles to make him appear weaker and the one who is under control. 

Metropolis (1922)


It highlights a revolutionary theme where if a man is under pressure, he either kills or gets killed. The visual style was supported by narratives that met with the approval of the director and he agreed on employing the set designers. It is actually considered to be the first true horror film but also holds the definitive concept of expressionism. The exploration groundbreaking techniques relating to presentation and the title cards were pieces of art in their own accord, that were mangled to reflect the nature if the words that was being conveyed. It is labeled revolutionary by many historians not because of its concept but because of its contribution towards the cinema industry overall (Langfeld). It is not only one of the most examined and widely discussed films but it is also responsible for giving attention of the entire world towards the German filmmakers. After Germany was isolated from the world and the events of the First World War, the idea of expressionism were restricted within the country and these works were often explored of various topics which were not thought of previously, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of them. ‘

Metropolis (1922) can be considered one of the most famous and wildly discussed films in this category, which highlights the stylish note of troubled perception, the presentation of the rioting workers, who have revolted against the masters of a colossal metropolitan city by destroying the underground cities and almost killing their children.  The workers then forms a wedge like group and march rhythmically and mechanically up the steps of the Cathedral to confront the ruler of the city. Then after a tragedy they fail and being broken, they return to the herd like state at the beginning of the film. After being reduced to a uniform group and even after all their efforts, at the end of the day, the workers did not achieve anything and the narrative trajectory has brought back to the social circumstances on which the film began. This transformation is not only visually appealing but also it produces an effective cinematography. This aesthetic expressionist gives this film a visual allure and the revolutionary spirit to this and other expressionist films of that time. 


The idea of instability of the opening chapter gives a highlight the sense of the very fabric of the theme. The concept of a futuristic city and by the means of expressionist visuals, the film addresses one of the major problems of the cinematic visualization of the future that is how the futuristic world should be put on screen. The film provides a brilliant view of what the future would be considering the time when it was made. By the means of canted camera angles, obscure shadows and expressionist hallmarks, the film distances itself from the modern world and creates a strange  world where the leaders has taken over and they want to replace all the human workers with robots (Lassig). It is because of this action they protest against the leaders in a form of mutiny. This dystopian city suggests that in some sort of strangeness the audience might be able to relate with the future. It is certainly a film before its time and it has a striking contrast to many films that were made after it was released. It can be said that film based on dystopian and futuristic cities and themes are inspired by this timeless classic. The people are slaves from there they rebel against their slave like treatment which creates a world which shows that even with all the mighty structures of the city, it is still fragile from the inside. The story has references to real life events of like the murder of Caligari and Waxworks. Metropolis was the most expensive and largest project of the Ufa studios. The film does put all the efforts to equally bring together all the elements to being forth a narrative accommodation of all the available cultural tendencies, however the conclusions suggests that the film develops its own logic of perception. The revolutionary action gives a religious hope which is preached by one of the central characters Maria.  It can be stated that it is hard to ignore the visual representations of the film and contrasts the modern technologies and what could happen in the future.

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922) is a timeless classic from F.W. Murnau who created the main character Count Orlok based on the iconic Count Dracula by Bram Stroker. However due to copyright issues, Stoker’s wife successfully sued the film and burnt all copies of the movie. The protagonist Hutter was sent to visit Count Orlok for buying a house in the town, because he received the information from a real estate agent. After crossing the Carpathian Mountain, Hutter encounters the Count who appears to be a half evolved human with an odd fascination for blood. He does not look like a proper aristocratic gentleman and ever since then, Hutter encounters a series of horrifying events like two hole son his neck after waking up in the morning, and later finding the Count sleeping in a coffin in broad daylight. The Count entering the bedroom and engulfing Hutter under his shadow showed a horrifying expression. Then Hutter’s wife, Ellen starts to sleepwalk and calls for her ‘master’ which is the Count. When the Count climbs through the stairs towards Ellen and casts his shadow on the wall, it was called one of the most iconic scenes in horror. Ellen is shown as a helpless victim who is under the spell of Count Orlok and Hutter tires everything in his power to save his wife. Knox, the real estate agent also becomes a slave towards the Count and it is revealed that Orlok was planning to come to the town from the very beginning and everything was his plan (Burns).  

During the progression of the film, Muramu even sidetracked from the plot a couple of times and presented irrelevant natural phenomenon like a Venus flytrap that caught a fly and killed it and even a scene where wolves were roaming the countryside. Another scene where Knox watch a spider has trapped a prey and eats it, the whole scene is unsettling and the audience cannot help but watch as the prey gets devoured.  It depicts the visualization of a predator whereas in this case, it is the Count who possesses supernatural powers and is basically immortal in the night. The film does not show any gory scene or a sudden shock but basically a suspense which is carried throughout the movie. The essence of German Expressionism is the central theme and puts things which are emphasis on a validity of senses. The character is Orlok is shown as a supernatural power who basically takes control of all the situations till end where he finally meets his fate due to the morning sun however as it is bittersweet as Ellen also dies in the end and Hutter is left devastated (Zimmer). F.W. Muranu gained international success for his role of direction in the film, the character of Count Orlok by Max Schreck was praised internationally and he is also regarded as one of the most ionic character of horror genre and many characters are based on him even today.  


Therefore from the above discussion it can be agreed that the revolution of German Expressionism led to a bold and artistic movement like no other and which also laid the path way for many films and dramas down the line. The period from 1918 to 1930 continued to produce avant-garde films that changed the thought process of directors and actors all around the world. The aftermaths of the war led other countries of the world to believe that German was cornered and isolated from the rest however thought their concept of art and their proud and bold ideas; they were welcomed back to the world of arts. The directors gave a lot of time in making movies and it was investigated from all angles before it was put on film. Germany gave a lot of contribution even other than the expressionism movement like though the means of music and paintings, however the concepts of crime, madness or paranoia combined with the supernatural and claustrophobic atmosphere that were created by the combination of shadows and lighting to enhance the effects of the scenes (Deterling). This style is ideal for the portal of macabre subjects and mysteries. The concept of the supernatural was widely acclaimed in the film industry thanks to the German Expressionism movement. The concepts of dreams versus reality, sanity versus insanity or blindness versus vision were reflected through the means of films and arts. The imagination concept was broadcast on a larger scale and directors started to implement dark ideas which surprised and scared the audience and yet it was enjoyable.

References

Bordwell, David, Kristin Thompson, and Jeff Smith. Film art: An introduction. McGraw-Hill Education, 2016.

Burns, William. "From the Shadows: Nosferatu and the German Expressionist Aesthetic." Mise-en-scène| The Journal of Film & Visual Narration 1.1 (2016).

Deterling, Ian. "Mystery of the Wax Museum: An Original Film Score for Orchestra and an Analysis Outlining the Evolution of Film Music Through American Horror Films of the Early 1930s." (2017).

Forceville, Charles J., and Thijs Renckens. "The good is light and bad is dark metaphor in feature films." Metaphor and the Social World 3.2 (2013): 160-179.

Langfeld, Gregor. "How the Museum of Modern Art in New York canonised German Expressionism." Journal of Art Historiography 11.GL1 (2014).

Lassig, Carly J. "Approaches to creativity: How adolescents engage in the creative process." Thinking Skills and Creativity 10 (2013): 3-12.

McCarron, Phil. "Fritz Lang-An Auteur of German Expressionism." ESSAI 14.1 (2016): 26.

Monica, I. L. I. E. "German Expressionism in Cinema “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”(1919)." Cinematographic Art & Documentation (CA&D): 46.

Tortolani, Erica. "“Citizenship in a Nightmare Country:” German Expressionist Film and Freud’s Dream Theory." (2013).

Zimmer, Caitlyn. "The Portrayal of Queer Subjectivity in German Vampire Film." (2014).

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2019). German Expressionism Movement In Film: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, And Nosferatu. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/film-studies-original-film-score-for-orchestra.

"German Expressionism Movement In Film: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, And Nosferatu." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/film-studies-original-film-score-for-orchestra.

My Assignment Help (2019) German Expressionism Movement In Film: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, And Nosferatu [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/film-studies-original-film-score-for-orchestra
[Accessed 15 April 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'German Expressionism Movement In Film: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, And Nosferatu' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/film-studies-original-film-score-for-orchestra> accessed 15 April 2024.

My Assignment Help. German Expressionism Movement In Film: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, And Nosferatu [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 15 April 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/film-studies-original-film-score-for-orchestra.

Get instant help from 5000+ experts for
question

Writing: Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing: Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

loader
250 words
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Attach file

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Plagiarism checker
Verify originality of an essay
essay
Generate unique essays in a jiffy
Plagiarism checker
Cite sources with ease
support
Whatsapp
callback
sales
sales chat
Whatsapp
callback
sales chat
close