Dr. Caligari Continued
Scenes – Comparison of mental and real
• The court yard is symmetrical. It does not change. It shows that is the only thing
that is real in the movie.
• The scene where Caligari is dragged. The wall is full of psychedelic designs. The
kind yes of things a crazy person would see. When Francis is being dragged, there
are no longer psychedelic designs, showing that is the actual room.
Upton Sinclair wrote They Call Me Carpenter in 1922. This book began with a crowd of
people trying to keep Americans from seeing "Caligari" because this story of a "madman"
didn't serve the purpose of art, morality. His question was whether art was to serve
morality or if art exists for "art's sake."
Siegfried Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler (1947) postulates that the film can be
considered as an allegory for German social attitudes in the period following World War
I. He argues that the character of Caligari represents a tyrannical figure, to whom the only
alternative is social chaos (represented by the fairground).
Creators of Dr. Caligari
• Meger and Janowitz were both soldiers in the Austrian army. Janowitz while
serving his country, had a nervous breakdown, and had an ambiguous relationship
with his psychiatrist. But janowitz wasn’t sure the psychiatrist was doing any
good, because he believed they are going to make him better and send him back to
war which he didn’t not want to go back to war. IT is a bad idea to put yourself in
a position to be killed.
• There are carrying doctors who heal the soldiers well enough to go back to war.
The modern imperial service has turned even the medical service as an agent of
death. Meger had a similar experience to war, and together they wrote Caligari.
• From megers and janowtiz perspective, Caligari is imperial Authority:
o Caligari – imperial authority: murderous, unreliable narrative,
megalomaniacal – posing as benign
o Caesar – soldiers (mind control of caligari, similar to brainwashing of
soldiers by the imperial making them think they are doing something
nobel) The common person is a puppet. o Jane – Victim (one victim too many) awakens the towns people to the
imperialist terror. This created a revolt, a revolution.
o Francis –Revolutionist who sees his job to awaken the people
o Townspeople – people
• The double plot was added by the director. Meger and Janowitz were completely
against it because it discredits their story, it made their story nonsense because the
guy telling it to be a nutcase.
Upton Sinclair wrote They Call Me C