Austrian director Fritz Lang has been noted as being exemplary in film noir by utilizing his stark visual style and moody representation of human characters, and has a history of making great classics such as Metropolis (1927), M (1931), Fury (1936), and The Big Heat (1953). Lang came to America to escape the rise of Nazi power in Germany in 1934, he was part of the German expressionist, and could skillfully direct drama-thrillers and epic science fiction dramas with ease, as noted by Foster Hirsch in his book, The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, “Of the four major Germanic directors of noir - Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak, Billy Wilder, and Otto Preminger - Lang is the most consistently incisive. In temperament, he is the quintessential noir stylist” (Hirsch 116). Lang had a longstanding career in Hollywood, making numerous films of many genres, and seems to focus on the human perspective of outcomes that are beyond their control. “Lang’s output over a period of almost forty years reveals a remarkable visual and thematic continuity.
“We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds, not simply in the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is an important part of it, but by seeing the world as another person sees it.” - Roger Ebert The history of cinema now covers more than a century, with the twentieth century being the first to be recorded in motion pictures. Since the invention of films at the end of the nineteenth century, they have been known as a mode of preservation, preserving for future generations not only the images but the actions of people from history.
The important of all this innovated aspect of the film is the best argument against Kracauer’s analysis, “The ‘story of the famous story’ has obscured the ultimate responsibility for this remarkable achievement. It was undoubtedly a happy combination of talents” (Robinson1997). The film history of Dr. Caligari is without a doubt what makes this film so transcendental. It is important to point out that Kracauer analysis also has a lot of factors that explained creation of the story in the film. Society are affected by war, so it is clear that the writers were influenced by terrible experience in the World War I.
German Expressionism was a brief, yet vital period of film-making which spanned from roughly 1905 until 1935. One could consider this a small section from the history of film, yet the impact of German Expressionism upon the creative zeitgeist is still felt today. This essay will argue that these films, specifically 1927’s Metropolis, had an incredibly deep and profound impact upon the Science Fiction genre. It will explore the elements of German Expressionism, which began with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The essay will go on to discuss the themes and concepts presented in Metropolis, concluding with the argument that the story of Metropolis can be seen everywhere within contemporary Science Fiction.
German films history began roughly when the Skladanowsky brothers created one of the first movie projector, which they called “Bioscop,” At the beginning of German film history, films were seen more as an entertainment activity, instead of serious art form. According to Studying German Cinema by Maggie Hoffgen, “from about 1910-1911, film went to a process of experimentation and innovation” (Hoffgen, 2009). Hoffgen also indicates, “the films such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1919 started to employ the recognized artistic style of Expressionism” (Hoffgen, 2009). German expressionism was about inner experience and about emphasizing personal expression. This movement came right after the World War I.
German Expressionism deals with many characteristics ranging from storyline, to bold artistic styles, to dealing with “intellectual” topics, to set design & location, and even character appearance. All of these if not more, The films starts out with a simple yet creative storyline of a real estate agent (Thomas Hutter) who is sent to Transylvania to visit a new client (Count Orlok) to convince him to move to Wisburg. Now this “client”is also rumored of bringing a plague to this quiet town. During Hutters travels it is revealed the connection between Thomas Hutter, and the Count's new found obsession with Hutter's wife, Ellen – who happens to be the only one with the power to end the evil Count Orlok (aka Nosferatu).
M (1931) by Fritz Lang is one of the most significant films of the Weimar Republic that had influenced on aesthetic of film noir and an establishment of a genre of a psychological and urban thriller concentrating on a history of one murder who terrorizes a city. It was the first sound film by the director and, nowadays, recognized as one of the most interesting examples in experimentation with sounds and their connection with displaying images. A plot based on a real history of a serial killer from Dusseldorf is a peculiar interpretation of a reality, reflecting an atmosphere in the society because a paranoia described in the film was an illustrative explanation of a condition of people mind. Siegfried Kracauer, a German film theorist, written
INTRODUCTION The Expressionism movement is an impressive modern art movement that depicted subjective emotion rather than objective reality. This movement used distortion, exaggeration and different elements to express the artist’s feelings that made it different from any other movement (Expressionism, 2016). It has a unique sense of artistic style that uses intense colors and agitated brushstrokes with high qualities that not only affected fine art but also theatre, literature and many more (Expressionism, 2016). The techniques they used conveyed the state of emotion of the artist that expressed the anxieties of the modern world (The art story foundation, 2016). They were known for opposing the traditional techniques of art (Waddleton, 2016).
3. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) Metropolis is an important example of German Expressionism and of early science fiction. A great inquiry on future of humanity, a critique of society, a prominent dystopian film. Fritz Lang’s remarkable work has dazzlingly designed sets, costumes and unpredictable characters.
The era of postmodernism breaks through, or rather wishes to destroy any mainstream elements which were used in the modern era. Where modernism looked towards progress and predictable solutions, postmodernism did just the opposite. When speaking of the term postmodernism and film, films usually leave the audience unsettled through its fragmented, ironic and disjointed narrative. Many other characteristics such as the blurring of boundaries between truth and fiction, and the manipulation of time and space are elements used in postmodern film. Postmodern film, putting the focus on the liminal space1. means that meaning is often generated through the spaces and transitions, usually passively perceived by the audience.
Film takes photography to another level. Film, or the cinema “is objectivity in time.” For the first time with film “the image of things is likewise the image of their duration, change mummified as it were”. Bazin argues "only the impassive lens, stripping its object of all those ways of seeing it, those piled- up preconceptions, that spiritual dust and grime with which my eyes have covered it, are able to present it in all its virginal purity to my attention and consequently to my love.
Baz Luhrmann is widely acknowledged for his Red Curtain Trilogy which are films aimed at heightening an artificial nature and for engaging the audience. Through an examination of the films Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, the evolution and adaptation of his techniques become evident. Luhrmann’s belief in a ‘theatrical cinema’ can be observed to varying degrees through the three films and his choice to employ cinematic techniques such as self-reflexivity, pastiche and hyperbolic hyperbole. The cinematic technique of self-reflexivity allows a film to draw attention to itself as ‘not about naturalism’ and asks the audience to suspend their disbelief and believe in the fictional construct of the film.
Georg Wilhelm Pabst (born August 27, 1885, Raudnice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now Roudnice, Czech Republic]—died May 29, 1967, Vienna, Austria), German film director whose films were among the most artistically successful of the 1920s. Pabst’s films are marked by social and political concerns, deep psychological insight, memorable female protagonists, and human conflicts with culture and society. He is also noted for his mastery of film editing. Pabst was educated in Vienna and at age 20 began a career as a stage actor in Zürich.