Frankenstein German Expressionism Analysis

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Of some of the many early films, Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931), can be noted for its impact on film history as being one of the first films of its kind. This new genre of film inspired many more films to come in the Universal Hollywood film era, due to its vast amount of new techniques that were used to support German Expressionist film production. German Expressionist film production occurred after World War One, and had the primary goal to create a world much different from which the creator lives in. Frankenstein, itself, also created strong ties to German Expressionism, which called for a new way of cinema. This new wave of Cinema was noted for its “great burst of artistic activity” (Mast, Kawin 104). In Frankenstein the use of this…show more content…
Being a horror movie, the dark scenes theme is carried out through the entire movie. In the beginning, Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant digging up a dead body from a cemetery where there are slanting grave markers and gnarled trees, followed by the creepy house/ laboratory that sits high on top of the hill in front of the stormy skies where Dr. Frankenstein’s not so perfect, “perfect” monster is strapped to the table just waiting to be brought to life. (Worland 160). When speaking specifically about Dr. Frankenstein’s house/laboratory it has very specific themes that run through German Expressionist films such as the house being at the top of the hill, and the long narrow architecture, the pointed top of the building. All of which play into the unrealistic architecture that takes place throughout the movie. Some of these expressionist style characteristics can be related to other movies such as The cabinet of Dr. Caligari where there are also some very unrealistic scenes with distorted images and slanted chairs in some scenes of the film. However, the main difference between Frankenstein and The cabinet of Dr. Caligari in this particular display of German Expressionism is that in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari most of the scenes display some sort of unrealistic image or slanted art work. In Frankenstein, however the overall idea is unrealistic. For example, the idea of a scientist trying to overcome mortality and go against God’s practices is very unrealistic (Worland
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