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Filmmaking History: German Expressionism in Film

by CinemaHouse Productions
Filmmaking History: German Expressionism in Film by CinemaHouse Productions
German Expressionism was a creative wave/movement that had begun to flourish in Germany before the Great War. Expressionism creates the genuine emotion/mood or style of what artists express within their work of art. Such as masses of color, detailed textures, geometrical objects, beautifully distorted work, a new creative style from an artist’s perspective. The Scream by Edward Munch, surrealist paintings by Max Ernst, cubism paintings by Picaso are prime examples. This avant-garde movement within Germany flourished among music, literature, architecture, theatre, art…..but more importantly filmmaking. This inspired numerous European artists.… Read more

German Expressionism was a creative wave/movement that had begun to flourish in Germany before the Great War. Expressionism creates the genuine emotion/mood or style of what artists express within their work of art. Such as masses of color, detailed textures, geometrical objects, beautifully distorted work, a new creative style from an artist’s perspective. The Scream by Edward Munch, surrealist paintings by Max Ernst, cubism paintings by Picaso are prime examples. This avant-garde movement within Germany flourished among music, literature, architecture, theatre, art…..but more importantly filmmaking. This inspired numerous European artists. A new wave of experimental art. A tour de force before Hitler and Nazism rose to power, yet somehow the art reflected or foreshadowed these turn of events.

The essence of this art form within cinema began with one of the first horror films, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), directed by Robert Weine. The settings are distorted or stretched out and there is a macabre motif toward it. The characters are in disillusion, pure insanity. The sets are obviously painted in such a marvelous sense of Gothic charm. It is a true visionary experience. German Expressionism also influenced Tim Burton for becoming a film director. You can see the similarities. One of my favorite pictures from that era.

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