Routinely cited as one of the greatest films ever made, this classic of German Expressionism presents an abstract plunge into insanity, with a sinister tale of psychosis and murder, set in a warped Gothic landscape of disorienting angles and jarring contrasts of light, shadow, and substance.
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So good. I could perhaps do without certain moments in the last 27 minutes or so, and the rhythm from scene space to scene space sometimes feels unskillful, uncertain, part of too many hands' interference perhaps? But these are altogether minor quibbles in relation to the moments when the film is working. A living, breathing thing, this one.
Was surprised the second time around watching it. What I used to think was an extremely convoluted movie turned out to be a complex trip into the mind of a Madmen at the point where movies were just finding their legs. Dark and Naive. Just the way I enjoy my silent cinema!
It reminds me of the things I dream about while I'm asleep at night. This film really gives you that feeling of walking down an abandoned street at night where everything seems to be some kind of imposing threat. Visually, this is one of the most well-composed films I've seen, the art direction and lighting are out of this world. It hasn't aged a bit.
fascinating and really compelling. the set design was very gothic and reminded me of early tim burton as well as charles laughton's night of the hunter. the twists were excellent too. visually a real treat, not to mention that it has a great deal of plot and gets through it with such style. i really was impressed this piece.
There are few more important or more influential horror films in cinematic history than Robert Wiene's German Expressionist masterpiece, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. The film that started the Expressionist movement, CALIGARI is a frenzied, stylish nightmare about a mad psychiatrist and his murderous somnambulist, Cesar. From the dynamic, dreamlike design to the oft-copied twist, CALIGARI has never been equaled.