Dr Caligari German Expressionism

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After its defeat in the First World War, Germany was left in a miserable state; there was a massive shortage of resources and thousands of German people died. The morale and spirits of those who survived were shattered, many were left in disarray and forced to deal with devastation in any way possible. Many artists, including creators of the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, served in the war and were forever changed after witnessing the horrors of war. The effects of the war caused them to turn inward and seek ways to try to explain their emotional states. A key movement that came out of Germany is this period was German Expressionism. The movement sought to express emotions that the German people felt. German citizens wanted a retreat from their bleak reality. German Expressionism manifested itself in cinema through the use of distorted sets, dark, compelling stories, and exaggerated performances.…show more content…
One way this was achieved in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was through director’s use of set design. The sets are jagged, angled, and give the viewer a feeling of being disoriented and unbalanced. These sets represent the uneasiness people felt about the future of their society. The set designs in Caligari ware a blending of real locations (offices, the homes, a carnival) but with a pattern and look that was so distorted it became sinister and threating. This contrast provided the German people with such an unnerving sense of horror and torment. The labyrinthine townscape in Caligari, the incessant and repetitive rotation of scenic elements and the irregular and warped images of domestication created a mood on screen that matched that of the
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