Why this should be is a profound question. Perhaps it was because the horror story translated more successfully to the silent film stage than many forms of drama. After all, the horror story has often been much like a morality play or a familiar fairy tale.
If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Everything there — the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air — is dipped in monotonous grey.
Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey.
It is not life but its shadow, it is not motion but its soundless spectre. Here I shall try to explain myself, lest I be suspected of madness or indulgence in symbolism. Aesthetically, they draw on the influence of expressionist painters and spirit photographers of the s. Narrative style comes from the stories played out by the Grand Guignol Theatre Company which in turn were taken from Gothic literature.
They also draw upon the folklore and legends of Europe and render monsters familiar from childhood into physical form. Nineteenth-century audiences enjoyed seeing ghosts captured in still photography and magic lantern shows, so it was natural that the techniques of superimposition would be transferred to the new technology in order to tell fantastic and bizarre tales.
They had to overcome the limits imposed by the technology and tell a story powerful enough to make the audience suspend their disbelief. Darkness and shadows, such important features of modern horror, were impossible to show on the low contrast film stock available at the time, so some sequences, for example in Nosferatu, where we see a vampire leaping amongst gravestones in what appears to be broad daylight, will seem doubly surreal to a modern audience primed to expect pitch black and bright light.
Nonetheless, these early entries to the horror genre established many of the codes and conventions still identifiable today. Unfortunately, the fragility of early film stock and the piecemeal approach to archiving mean that many of the earliest horror films have been lost forever. Some, however, have survived.
Although it has a running time of a little over three minutes, this supernatural story still manages to pack in the genre paradigms: This gave a major boost to the German film industry, which went from producing 24 films in to in German filmmakers had plenty of opportunities to develop a national style, which was heavily influenced by the Expressionist movement in German fine arts.
Artists moved from the theatre into film and applied the same thinking to their set designs.
They believed movie sets should represent an artificial reality, distorted landscapes reflecting the interior state of the characters or the emotional themes of the story rather than natural locations. Given the national mood in wartime Germany, this led to some nightmarish designs.
The poster for the Golem is typical of the Expressionist film art of the era — and nightmare-inducing. Paul Wegener directed and starred in the origin story of how the golem came into the world. He is brought to life by Rabbi Loew to save the Jews of sixteenth century Prague from persecution.
These three men were part of the broad group of artists associated with the Zurich magazine, Der Sturm.
They all worked on the production design of the triumph of German Expressionist cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Hermann Warm believed "films must be drawings brought to life".
Although modern viewers might find the pace slow, with long takes and little cutting between scenes, "The Cabinet This is largely because the diegetic world is wholly artificial, a complete re-imagining of a Northern German town.
The audience views the tale throught the twisted vision of the narrator, where roads, hills, houses and even trees take on a menacing new shape.
This is not reality, and the stylised performances reflect that, with the players moving as symbols through the surreal landscape, their stark make up adding to the dreamlike sensation.
This contrasted dramatically with the documentary style of film making prevalent in Europe at the time, and proved that film could be a poetic, stylised medium as well as a reflective one.
Much has been written on the politics of The Cabinet It certainly struck a chord with German audiences of the time, suffering as they were from the economic consequences of war reparations, helpless in the face of spiralling inflation.
A reissue, complete with art deco titles, makes perfect sense of a film that has had a profound influence on subsequent horror.The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers.
Remakes don't have to be awful. From classic crime comedies to gritty revenge thrillers, here's everything about the remakes you didn't know were being made. CULT FILMS CULT Federico Fellini’s highly influential and personal film, I Vitelloni (loosely translated as ‘The Young Calves’) tells the story of a group of five long-time male friends who are still coming of age in their 30s.
In many ways, this is a list that can be split into two distinct parts. Scorsese’s choices all come from either the Expressionist era (the main proponents being Fritz Lang and F.W.
Murnau among others) or the era of New German Cinema (Neuer Deutscher Film), associated with Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. “The companionship of a doll is a pleasant thing, even for a period of time running into months.
But for a close relationship that can last us through all the years of our life, no doll can take the place of aces back to back.”.
Remakes don't have to be awful. From classic crime comedies to gritty revenge thrillers, here's everything about the remakes you didn't know were being made.