Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Blog post 2)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a great example of German expressionism. Realist representation is distorted to express an emotional state and an interior reality is many ways. The set design is the most evident illustration of expressionism, with the intensely angled scenery, from the doorways to the window panes and even the shadows. The extreme chiaroscuro of the shadow and lighting add to the dramatic effect of the whole movie. The look of the environment just screams emotion and distraught.

Another way that reality is distorted to express emotion is through the characters themselves. The Frankenstein-esque way of walking of the somnambulist is very garish and unrealistic to create a fearful emotion. The look of Dr. Caligari, with his crazy eyes also created this same feeling.  Even the make-up of the woman is a dramatic version of the style of make-up that was popular in the 20’s. All of these things add up to create an overwhelming feeling of emotion that is synonymous with German Expressionism.