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Expressionism in Films.docx

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Film Studies
Film Studies 1020E
Gregg Redner

Expressionism in Films: Expressionism: - Expressionism is the tendency on the part of an artist to distort reality for emotional effect - Expressionism is a subjective art technique - It is present in almost every form of art - Although expression ism was a powerful artistic force there has never been a formal artistic movement which called itself “expressionistic” - Generally, expressionism can be understood as an approach to filmmaking in which the filmmakers seeks to give their inner experiences, thoughts or feelings, or those of a character objective expression through stylization (sets or performances), symbolism and/or manipulation of images at the expense of cinematographic realism - More specifically, a particular movement in the arts in Europe from approximately the beginning of the twentieth-century through the 1920s, which in film became the dominant style in Germany - Expressionist films exploit any stylistic technique of aspect of the medium – colour, sound, angles, lens, and so on – for its symbolic potential - Expressionist cinema is often contrasted to realism as the two primary tendencies of film style - Whereas the actualities of the Lumiere Brothers, which mark the beginning of film history, are considered the beginning of documentary and realism, the hundred of ‘artificially arranged scenes of Georges Melies that followed shortly after, with their numerous camera tricks, special effects and fantastic narratives are the first expressionist films - German Expressionism is a specific period or movement of German cinema which lasted from 1919 – 1932 which attempted to project onto the superior world the abstract representation of intense inner emotions - Characteristic techniques of German expressionist cinema include an emphasis on extreme camera angles, chiaroscuro lighting, distorting lenses and sets and stylised acting and make-up - The films were shot largely in studio, many at UFA, the largest studio in the country, which an artificial look at deliberately sought to exclude the natural world - Also manifest in other arts such as literature and painting, expressionism in German films is generally agreed to have begun in 1919 with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene), a horror film about an evil mesmerist who forces a somnambulist to commit a murder - Designed by expressionist artist Hermann Warm, Walter Reiman, and Walter Rohrig, the film contains almost no right angles in its distorted buildings and streets
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