The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Due to the fact The current unit we're on revolves around the enviroment of the movies we are watching, I was more focused on how the "space" in the movie was used. So my 'review' will be slightly different from the others I've written before hand.

We watched the origianl 'The cabinet of Dr Caligari' made in 1920 directed by Robert Weine.
Noticed it began in a forest, we were shown very little of the surrounding, so the overal shot was very small so the audience go the jist of the surroundings.

The second place we were shown was the town of  Hostenwall. Which was a completly abstract town, as if it were drawn / manufactured by three artists, Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Röhrig.

Hermann warm, having previous movies like vampyr, under his belt famed for its " Dreamy washed out horror sensibility". "Warm was an important figure in the expressionist movement."

-Wikipedia (15.7.2010)

All the buildings were nonfunctional like the picture above. All the buildings were misshaped, warped and tended to be elongated.
I also noticed in every scene all the buildings were so close together, like the town would swallow you up. This forced the inhabitants to push past each other, and invade each others privacy.
After learning that both writers, had lived through the first world war.

I believe the way they wanted th town made was to almost reflect their displacement after having been through the war. this, surreal civiliasation they were ment to live in and almost pretend like the war never happened as they were to continuing living thier lives from where it left off.

So to reflect this the created a city which was abstract, yet people pretended like it was normal, and just dealt with it.

The characters were also abstract in my mind. The 'somnambulist' i.e. sleep walker. Reflected the town, he was tall, and even in the scene before he kidnapped the only girl mentioned in the film he walks with his arm straight up, how his legs bend with a straight line, all emphasizing how he is walking making right angles.
The significance of this scene is by holding his arm up straight, he becomes one with the scenery, becomes a straight line. Almost makes it hard to tell if he's on of the may painted shadows..

Near the end of the scene whenever they showed dr caligari running from his asaiglants, he'd always run up the screen and further up the imagery the perspective line wasexagerrated, i.e the set was made smaller at the top to give a flase impresion that the plain we were seeing was deeper than it actually was.

The make up on Cesare was a triangle, or half a square, to do with modernism, like the rest of the set work.
I truly believe this movie was about perception.

when we see the hospital from outside it looks normal, unlike the rest of the town. When we get to dr. caligari's room, everything is back topsy turvey, abstract and surreal.

The twist at the end showed me something important. This movie was all about perception, we were forced to looked through a mad man's eyes but in his eyes the sane people were insane, and the insane were sane, it was only when we got to the end of the movie when we finally get to see the story with our own eyes, we see the protagonist, in a straight jacket, and the "Dr" looking fresh and clean cut, saying " He thinks I am that mystic Caligari !"
Ironically when we still see through the eyes/perception of the madman. when he shouts "You fools, this man is plotting our doom! We die at dawn! He is Caligari!" We've seen the evidence making this statement true, which is why we are also confused when we see the "bad guy walking free from the hospital".

                                                                                                                            -imdb, unknown
Did notice halfway through there was guy who looked like Hitler. According to "The framing story is controversial, because it was added to the original script which had been an analogy for World War I"

-Micheal, goatdog

Bibliography:, caligari's artists. accessed on 25th oct, 2010. accessed on 25th oct, 2010. accessed on 26th oct 2010 accessed on 2010

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