Friday, October 5, 2007

German Expressionist Film

German Expressionist film is known for generally being dark in theme and oftentimes deals with the supernatural or the occult. The use of shadow in such films is intense, with high contrasting light areas as focal points. German filmmakers relied on symbolism and mise en scene to create the moody feel of their works and to infer them with deeper meaning.

Cinematographers explored wildly with different camera angles to achieve various effects, such as a high or low angle shots, in a manner that would latter be famously applied in American cinema in Welles’ Citizen Kane. Set designs were also done in an avant garde style, and were heavily influenced by expressionism in painting. Prominent examples of German Expressionist film include Nosferatu (1922), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and Der Golem (1915).

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