i wondered if there were any others films that were as wholly expressionist as this one. the only one that comes close to my mind is the Passion of Joan of Arc, but i think thats because Hermann Warm worked as set decorator for both films. i find it odd that i cant find more films that are as completely and abstractly designed as caligari, considering its such an important film. wondered if i was missing any titles
Well, Golem 1920
Warning Shadows (1923) – not very stylized sets, but highly stylized acting.
They are not as good as Caligari.
There is a lot of stylization in other films around that times: Nosferatu, for example. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler uses a lot of expressionist decoration. A lot of films are thematically connected to Caligari, because they have characters who are enchanted or otherwise deprived of free will.
Was it a step back in some way? Especially in acting. Lillian Gish was better in 1920 than many modern actresses! But the Germans simply went the other way.
Was it a departure from unique European style of 1910s towards a not very thoughtful usage of american editing?
im just surprised a style of film didn’t emerge – even to the present day – that followed a kind of handmade, obviously constructed type of look like caligary had. something that could really only exist in film. i think, in their own way, tim burton and tarantino have a style that is very expressionistic, the clothes and make up and sound effects/picture composition. but as for the actual set morphing around the story, more like how tron did and less like Kubrick or most other directors. it seems, especially after citizen kane, directors wanted the style to more subtle or nuanced, instead of overt and dramatic. burton again comes to mind as someone who says much just by showing landscapes and costumes. I think certain cg films have a similar feel like sin city or 300, for better or worse. But they don’t have the weight or fingerprint of a film like caligari and passion of joan of arc.
And I think acting did take a dramatic shift to being easier to convey, in a bad way, when sound entered the picture (literally). Sound is great and incredibly important, but both the actors and the director didn’t have to work as hard to tell the story entirely in a visual way. I think most films take sound and picture for granted, because they both exist together, which makes it so easy and common. A film like the lodger or vampyr has so much mood and feeling, just in the way it uses light/shadow and editing. Most directors don’t look for that kind of rhythm anymore.