Focuses on the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) and its ‘collective spirit’ in cinema. The purpose of film as a cultural tool is examined. Based on celebrated sociologist Siegfried Kracauer’s seminal book ‘From Caligari to Hitler’ (1947).
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From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the MassesDirected byRüdiger Suchsland
A convincing and effective cinematic adaptation of Sigmund Kracauer's influential theories on cinema's ability to prefigure political scenarios. Therefore, any criticism about the alleged preposterousness of his argument (e.g. Stefan Drees, Aardsy and many more commentators on mubi) should be addressed to Kracauer, not to Suchsland, who was extremely respectful of the original source.
Seen in the indie film festival: a repository of theoretical information, substantially extracted from Kracauer's homonym book, being an illustrative exercise of it, little autonomous, not creatingf its own vision. However, the wealth of images taken from that period is varied and rich, presenting films and authors lesser-known and no less admirable. Some editing options are very questionable.
A problematic documentary - and in no way representative of the actual scientific, historic and cultural knowledge. It is impossible to recount the development of the German film during this time without refering to other arts (e.g. theatre and opera where important tendencies of the film are anticipated) or to foreign influences (e.g. film, but also jazz as one of the most influential music genres during the 1920s).
Based on Kracauers key work(along with Eisner's"The Haunted Screen")on German Expressionist Cinema.This documentary is a fascinating and important introduction to this subject.It shows how a Cinema,aimed at a mass market and using genre,can reflect the hopes,dreams,desires and fears of Society.These films express the trauma of war, the instability of the Weimar,days of hope and the impending darkness of Naziism.