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Cinema Talks > 2015 Winter and Spring (Season 8)

Cine Club: Wednesday 28 January 2015 (7 pm)

Title:               The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Director:        Robert Wiene (Germany)
Released:      1920
Language:    Silent (English Links)
Duration:      1 hour and 6 min
Key Actors:   Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher
Interesting Links about the Film:
Trailer on YouTube: Click Here
Roger Ebert Click Here
Film Forum Click Here
Archive.org Click Here
Open Culture Click Here
Synopsis: (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here)
A few wrote saying that showing a horror film is depassé. True, so this is not a classic horror film where you are invited to scream and cover your eyes. The film is not meant to scare viewers. The director uses a variety of means to distance action from reality. The sets are all "contrived" with a jagged landscape full of sharp angles, tilted walls and windows, staircases climbing crazy diagonals, trees with weird leaves, pathways with patterns, etc.
The key roles in the plot are not flat. However, they are not realistic either. In line with "expressionism", they evoke their emotions and actions, the delusions and deceptive appearances, as someone wrote: in right angles to reality. The plot gets built up with clear milestones and sharp turns.
We will show a short documentary placing German Expressionism in context and allowing us to see how the film fits in with that movement.
Since it is not long, we will be having a discussion afterwards.
Robert Wiene (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here)
Robert Wiene (1873-1938) was an important film director of the German silent cinema. He is particularly known for directing the influential German silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and a succession of other expressionist films. Wiene also directed a variety of other films of varying styles and genres. Following the Nazi rise to power in Germany, Wiene fled into exile. He was born in Breslau, as the elder son of the successful theatre actor Carl Wiene. His younger brother Conrad also became an actor, but Robert Wiene at first studied law at the University of Berlin. In 1908 he also started to act, at first in small parts on stage. His first involvement with film was in 1912, writing and directing Die Waffen der Jugend.

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