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CIN2101 (16)

CIN2190 JAN 25

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Film Studies
Florian Grandena

Cin2190 – History and Aesthetics of Cinema – Lecture 3 Film • One of the first horror films • Dr. Caligari German Expressionism • German expressionism was meant to be shocking and creepy. • German expressionism was meant to react against 19thcentury realism • They wanted to show how our perception of reality was biased due to our emotions. • Contrasts with the classic Hollywood text. It didn’t want to be a classical film. Through its mise en scene • German expressionism started around 1908 and aimed at challenging 19 thcentury realism • Used distortions (of perceptions) to express extreme emotions (i.e. the tents at the fair were crooked) • Formal realism include all details. Very detailed reality. This is what German expressionism didn’t want to do. • Rejection of nuancesand subtle colors that usually give volume anddepth to realist painting • Insteadvivid, little realist color (Green faces, intense expression) • Dark outlines • 1910 = wellknown, if not fashionable movement in Germany • Prior to expressionism, German cinema = comedies, melodramas, detective films. • After WWI, Germany was not the winner of the war and the country went through a huge identity crisis and they tried to rebuild their national identity through culture • Creation of UFA to compete with French, American, and Scandinavian film productions. • German expressionism was a means to create an original film style. The genre was much more pessimistic after the war • Rejection of film realism without resorting to fantastic stories a la Georges Melies • Non Respect of basic perspective rules • The student of Prague was the first expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari • Deformed perspectives • Over-stretched shadows • Non-realist acting inherited from expressionist theatre (actors would scream gesticulate and follow choreographies) because they didn’t want conventional acting.
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