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Encyclopedia > German Expressionism
From Nosferatu (1922): the shadow of the vampire is seen climbing stairs in the famous film

German Expressionism (also referred to as Expressionism in filmmaking) developed in Germany, especially Berlin, during the 1920s. The Expressionism movement started earlier in about 1905 with the Die Brücke (The Bridge) group, but arose in the filming industry afterward. During the period of recovery following World War I, the German film industry was booming, but because of the hard economic times filmmakers found it difficult to create movies that could compare with the lush, extravagant features coming from Hollywood. The filmmakers of the German UFA studio developed their own style by using symbolism and mise en scène to add mood and deeper meaning to a movie. Image File history File links Screenshot from the 1922 film Nosferatu -- Public domain both by date and the fact tht the original work was deemed too derivative of the copyright on Dracula and was ordered destroyed. ... Image File history File links Screenshot from the 1922 film Nosferatu -- Public domain both by date and the fact tht the original work was deemed too derivative of the copyright on Dracula and was ordered destroyed. ... Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ... The Golden Twenties, in Berlin, Germany, were an exciting and extremely vibrant time in the history of Berlin, German history, and European history in general. ... The 1920s is a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... Die Brücke (The Bridge) was a group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905. ... This article is becoming very long. ... ... UFA logo Universum Film AG, better known as Ufa or UFA, was the principal film studio in Germany, home of the German film industry during the Weimar Republic and through World War II, and a major force in world cinema during its brief existence from 1917 to 1945. ... Mise en scène [mizɑ̃sÉ›n] has been called film criticisms grand undefined term, but that is not because of a lack of definitions. ... Authors set a tone or mood in literature by conveying an emotion or emotions through words. ...

Contents

1920s-1930s

The first Expressionist films, notably The Golem (1915), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Nosferatu (1922), Phantom (1922), Raskolnikow (1923) and Schatten (1923), were highly symbolic and deliberately surrealistic portrayals of filmed stories. Other early examples came from Austria, just as Der Mandarin (1918) by Fritz Freisler, Der Märtyrer seines Herzens (1918) with Fritz Kortner, Inferno (1920) by Paul Czinner and The Hands of Orlac (1925) by Robert Wiene. The Golem (original German name Der Golem, also known as The Monster of Fate) is a 1915 silent horror directed and written by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen. ... 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (original title: Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari) is a groundbreaking 1920 silent film directed by Robert Wiene from a screenplay written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. ... Year 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ... Phantom is a silent film that was directed by F. W. Murnau in 1922, the same year he directed Nosferatu. ... Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (Russian: Родион Романович Раскольников) is the protagonist of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. ... Schatten - Eine nächtliche Halluzination (Shade - a Nocturnal Hallucination) is a 1923 German silent film directed by Arthur Robison and Rudolf Schneider. ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Fritz Kortner (May 12, 1892, Vienna - July 22, 1970, Munich) was an Austrian-born stage and film actor. ... Year 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Paul Czinner, born May 30, 1890 in Budapest, Hungary, died June 22, 1972 in London, was a writer, film director and producer. ... Robert Wiene (born April 27, 1873 in Breslau; died 17 July 1938 in Paris) was a German film director. ...


One of the best expressionist actors was Fritz Kortner, who played also in Viennese films as also in Berlin-films. The dada movement was sweeping across the artistic world in the early 1920s, and the various European cultures of the time had embraced an ethic of change, and a willingness to look to the future by experimenting with bold, new ideas and artistic styles. The first Expressionist films made up for a lack of lavish budgets by using set designs with wildly non-realistic, geometrically absurd sets, along with designs painted on walls and floors to represent lights, shadows, and objects. The plots and stories of the Expressionist films often dealt with madness, insanity, betrayal, and other "intellectual" topics (as opposed to standard action-adventure and romantic films); the German name for this type of storytelling was called Kammerspielfilm (chamber film in English). Later films often categorized as part of the brief history of German Expressionism include Metropolis (1927) and M (1931), both directed by Fritz Lang. Vienna (German: , see also other names) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... Dadaism or Dada is a post-World War I cultural movement in visual art as well as literature (mainly poetry), theatre and graphic design. ... The 1920s is a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Inmates at Bedlam Asylum, as portrayed by William Hogarth Insanity, or madness, is a general term for a semi-permanent, severe mental disorder. ... An intellectual is a person who uses his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate on, or ask and answer questions with regard to a variety of different ideas. ... Metropolis Metropolis is a science fiction film produced in Germany set in a futuristic urban dystopia. ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar). ... Peter Lorre in M M (original title: M- Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (translation: M- a city in search of a murderer)) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou in which a serial killer, played by Peter Lorre, preys on... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Friedrich Anton Christian Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of expressionism. ...

The extreme non-realism of Expressionism was short-lived, and it faded away (along with Dadaism) after only a few years. However, the themes of Expressionism were integrated into later films of the 1920s and 1930s, resulting in an artistic control over the placement of scenery, light, and shadow to enhance the mood of a film. This dark, moody school of filmmaking was brought to America when the Nazis gained power and a number of German filmmakers emigrated to Hollywood. They found a number of American movie studios willing to embrace them, and several German directors and cameramen flourished there, producing a repertoire of Hollywood films that had a profound effect on the medium of film as a whole.[citation needed] Image File history File links CABINET_DES_DR_CALIGARI_01. ... Dr. Caligari, Caligari, and Doctor Caligari all redirect here. ... Year 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Cover of the first edition of the publication, Dada. ... The 1920s is a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ... The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... National Socialism redirects here. ... ...


Two genres that were especially influenced by Expressionism were the horror film and film noir. Carl Laemmle and Universal Studios had made a name for themselves by producing such famous horror films of the silent era as Lon Chaney's The Phantom of the Opera. German emigrees such as Karl Freund (the cinematographer for Dracula in 1931) set the style and mood of the Universal monster movies of the 1930s with their dark and artistically designed sets, providing a model for later generations of horror films. Directors such as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger, and Michael Curtiz introduced the Expressionist style to crime dramas of the 1940s, influencing a further line of filmmakers and taking Expressionism through the years. DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... Carl Laemmle Carl Laemmle (January 17, 1867 – September 24, 1939) born in Laupheim, Württemberg, Germany, was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of one of the original major Hollywood movie studios. ... Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the major American film studios that has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles... DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... Lon Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930), nicknamed The Man of a Thousand Faces, was an American actor during the age of silent films. ... Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera The 1925 film version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ... Karl W. Freund (January 16, 1890-May 3, 1969) was a German cinematographer who worked on over 100 films, including Metropolis (1927), Dracula (1931), and Key Largo (1948). ... Dracula is a 1931 horror film produced by Universal Pictures Co. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Monster Movie is the debut album by Krautrock Band Can. ... The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... Friedrich Anton Christian Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of expressionism. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born, Jewish-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... Otto Ludwig Preminger (December 5, 1906 – April 23, 1986) was a film director. ... Michael Curtiz (December 24, 1886 - April 10, 1962) was a Hungarian-American film director, whose best known films include The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, and White Christmas. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


German Expressionist Film Today

Ambitious adaptations of the style are depicted throughout the contemporary filmography of director Tim Burton. His 1992 film Batman Returns is often cited as a modern attempt to capture the essence of German Expressionism. The angular building designs and severe-looking city squares of Gotham City evoke the loom and menace present in Lang’s Metropolis. One may even notice the link between the evil character of Max Shreck aka the bald guy, portrayed by Christopher Walken, and Nosferatu's star, aka the other bald guy Max Schrek. Timothy William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award-nominated American film director, writer and designer known for his off-beat and quirky style. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Batman Returns is a 1992 motion picture based on the Batman character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. ... Metropolis Metropolis is a science fiction film produced in Germany set in a futuristic urban dystopia. ... Christopher Walken (born Ronald Walken on March 31, 1943) is an Academy Award-winning American film and theatre actor. ... Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... Nosferatu Max Schreck (June 11, 1879–November 26, 1936) was a German actor remembered today most for his lead role in Nosferatu. ...


Burton's influences are most obvious through his fairy tale suburban landscape in Edward Scissorhands . The appearance of the titular Edward Scissorhands none too accidentally reflects the look of Caligari's somnambulist servant. Burton casts a kind of unease in his candy-colored suburb, where the tension is visually unmasked through Edward and his gothic castle perched above the houses. Burton subverts the Caligari nightmare with his own narrative branding, casting the garish “somnambulist” as the hero, and the villagers as the villains. Timothy William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award-nominated American film director, writer and designer known for his off-beat and quirky style. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Dr. Caligari, Caligari, and Doctor Caligari all redirect here. ...


The familiar look of Caligari's main character can also be seen in the movie "The Crow". With the tight, black outfit, white makeup, and darkened eyes, Brandon Lee's character is obviously a close relative to Burton's film Edward Scissorhands.


Other examples

There is also the use of german expressionism in the work of David Lynch, most notably Eraserhead and Lost Highway, both films seemingly bent on insanity created by a lack of being able to cope with adult themes such as fatherhood and infidelity. Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935) is a three-time Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, jazz musician, comedian, and playwright. ... Shadows and Fog is a 1992 Woody Allen movie, starring Allen, Mia Farrow, John Malkovich, and Madonna. ... M (original German title: M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, M - a city in search of a murderer) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou. ... Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... Flemings commissioned image of James Bond to aid the Daily Express comic strip artists. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Sin City (film) Sin City is a gritty 2005 neo-noir anthology film based on the graphic novel series of the same name, directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, and Special Guest Director Quentin Tarantino. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Red Hot Chili Peppers is a multiple Grammy Award-winning American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983 by Anthony Kiedis (vocals), Hillel Slovak (guitar), Michael Flea Balzary (bass), and Jack Irons (drums). ... Single cover Otherside is a song by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. ... Predictable was the fifth and final single from Delta Goodrems debut album Innocent Eyes. ... Good Charlotte is a Pop Punk band from Waldorf, Maryland that formed in 1996. ... Robert Bartleh Cummings (born January 12, 1965 ) (age 42)[1]), better known as Rob Zombie, is an American heavy metal and industrial rock musician, director, and writer. ... Living Dead Girl is the second single off Rob Zombies solo debut Hellbilly Deluxe. ... The Queen of the Damned is a novel by Anne Rice. ... Single cover Otherside is a song by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. ... The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (original title: Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari) is a groundbreaking 1920 silent film directed by Robert Wiene from a screenplay written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. ... For other uses of Metz, see Metz (disambiguation) City motto: Si paix dedans, paix dehors (French: If peace inside, peace outside) City proper (commune) Région Lorraine Département Moselle (57) Mayor Jean-Marie Rausch Area 41. ... The Judderman is the symbol of an advertising campaign for a brand of schnapps called Metz. ...


Ties to other media

Expressionism as a movement spanned across media to include theater, architecture, music, painting, and sculpture, as well. Architecture, in particular, serves as an iconic way to bring the inner emotions of the individual into the public sphere, and therefore is most closely tied to the concepts of German Expressionism, but film extends the visual strengths of architecture into a more compelling, natural format.[original research?] Many critics see a direct tie between cinema and architecture of the time, in the sense that the sets and scene artwork of expressionist films often reveal buildings of sharp angles, great heights, and crowded environments, such as the frequently shown Tower of Babel in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.[citation needed] Metropolis Metropolis is a science fiction film produced in Germany set in a futuristic urban dystopia. ...


German Expressionism is also associated with artists such as Käthe Kollwitz[2] Käthe Schmidt Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 - April 22, 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition in the first half of the 20th century. ...


See also

The Golden Twenties, in Berlin, Germany, were an exciting and extremely vibrant time in the history of Berlin, German history, and European history in general. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tenebrism. ... The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893) which inspired 20th century Expressionists Portrait of Eduard Kosmack by Egon Schiele Rehe im Walde by Franz Marc Elbe Bridge I by Rolf Nesch On White II by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923. ... Expressionist architecture occurs in architecture when an architect distorts a building or design for an emotional effect. ... When the movie industry first flowered in the period from 1900 to 1915, it took hold in Europe as well as America. ... Detail from the memorial plaque on the Marlene Dietrich house in the Rote Insel area of Schöneberg This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... UFA logo Universum Film AG, better known as Ufa or UFA, was the principal film studio in Germany, home of the German film industry during the Weimar Republic and through World War II, and a major force in world cinema during its brief existence from 1917 to 1945. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
MSN Encarta - Expressionism (1073 words)
This phase of expressionism in Germany was marked by the conscious exposition of emotions and a heightened sense of the possibilities for expressive content.
Expressionism meanwhile had become an international movement, and the influence of the Germans is seen in the works of such artists as the Austrian painter Oskar Kokoschka, the French artist Georges Rouault, the Lithuanian-born French painter Chaïm Soutine, the Bulgarian-born French painter Jules Pascin, and the American painter Max Weber (see Painting).
Expressionism in music, which crested between the two world wars, gave voice to the anxieties, inner terrors, and cynicism of human life in the 20th century through emotionally intense, musically complex, and carefully structured works.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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