Monday, July 30, 2018

Film Review of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a German expressionist film directed by Robert Wiene in 1920. The film is the first German expressionist style film in Germany. The story of the film is written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. The dialogues of the film are not expressionist based . But the visualization of the film is expressionist based. So, most of the film reviewers and experts called it is a German expressionist film for its visualization. The film is designed by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Rohrig. So, there is contribution in design and visualization of the film of three of film designers.    Story of the Film:-  The story writer Janowitz and Mayer both of them were pacifists during the World War 1. Janowitz worked as an officer of the military during the World War 1. But experience left him from the military and Mayer feigned madness to avoid military services. Janowitz and Mayer were introduced with themselves in 1918. Their experiences played an important role in writing the story. Gilda Langer was an actress then. Mayer was in love and Janowitz was encouraged to her. She had predicted Janowitz's military would be successful. But she would be died. In fact, she was died in 1920 at the age of 23. In the film Jane played the role of Gilda Langer's character. Janowitz and Mayer went to a fair in the next time and for the first time they saw the show of Caligari there.  This experience helped themto write the story about Dr. Caligari Character. After finishing the script, they met the head of the production company ''Decla Bioscop Film Studio'' Erich Pommer. At first the title 'Cabinet', 'Caligari' and some other character's name were not enlisted. But in the next time, the names were enlisted and renamed. Writer Janowitz got the name Caligari from a book named ''Unknown Letters of Stendhal''. At last Robert Wiene directed the film 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' in 1920 from the story. Most of the scenes are made from the experiences of Janowitz and Mayer's real life story. Plot Summary:-  The film is started with some dialogues of an old man and Francis. Most of the time in the film, flash back has been used. They sit beside an asylum. The old man tells that there are spirits... they are all around us... Then Jane comes and goes beside them. Francis tells that she is his fiancee...' Then he starts to tell about the story of him, Jane and his best friend Alan. The total scenes are shown in 'flash back'. He lived in a town. Alan was his best friend. But both of them loved Jane very much. A carnival was started in the town. Alan was very excited to go to the fair taking his friend Francis. The fair was decorated beautifully. But all kinds of spectacles were allowed to display in the fair that year. The town clerk was very busy with his deeds and tempered. In spite of this, he allowed Dr. Caligari to display a spectacle 'A somnambulist'. That night the town clerk was murdered. The next day, Francis and Alan came to the carnival. Dr. Caligari presented a somnambulist named 'Cesare' for the first time in the fair. He told the audiences of the fair that the somnambulist was 23 years old and he was sleeping for 23 years. He would tell the people of their future and secrets. Francis and Alan was there. Caligari ordered Cesare to come out from the coffin.He awakened Cesare. Dr. Caligari told he would answer all all about their questions. Alan was very excited to ask a question. He asked 'How long would he live?' The somnambulist answered till the break of dawn. Alan was upset. That night Alan was murdered . Francis could not believe that at first. Then he thought about the somnambulist's prophecy. He wanted police authorization to investigate the case. Jane was very upset to hear the news that Alan was died. Francis told about that to Dr. Olfen, Jane's father. That night police caught a murderer who tried to kill a woman of the town. Francis and Dr. Olfen went to check the somnambulist . They could know that a murderer had been caught by the police. But the murderer acknowledged that he only tried to kill the woman. But he did not kill the previous two man. That day Dr. Olfen did not go home. So, Jane was very upset. She came to find out her father. She found out the somnambulist by depending on the dialogue of Dr. Caligari. In the next night, Francis went to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari and lonely he checked the somnambulist secretly for the hours. But the somnambulist tried to kill sleeping Jane. But without killing her, he abducted her. At that time a mob and the police rescued her. After walking some distance, the somnambulist was fell in and died. Francis checked the caught murderer in the jail. The police came to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari. They found out the man inside the coffin was not somnambulist. It was a plastic doll alike the somnambulist. Dr. Caligari flew away to an asylum. Francis followed him till the asylum. Francis found out that the director of the asylum was Dr. Caligari himself. He said everything to the asylum staffs. They all read Caligari's books when Dr. Caligari was asleep at night. They found out a history of 18th century. There was a man called Dr. Caligari who must murder as well as did everything with a somnambulist and used a plastic doll of the somnambulist, Cesare. One day a patient came to the asylum whom the director of the asylum made his Cesare and compelled him to do everything even murder. He must be Dr. Caligari. The staffs and Francis could know the history of being Dr. Caligari Cesare from the director and from patient of the asylum. Police at last found out the dead body of Cesare. Francis and the staffs took the dead body to Dr. Caligari. They unmasked the history of Dr. Caligari. He was retrained in astraitjacket. He was become inmate of his asylum. In the next scene, Camera came back from the flash back to the dialogues of Francis and the old man. They went inside the asylum. There, the audience will watch Jane, alive Cesare and some mad patients. Francis will see the director of the asylum. He still think that the director is Dr. Caligari himself. He attacks on the director of the asylum. But the staffs caught him and restrained in astraitjacket. Then the director says, 'Now I know how to cure him, he thinks I am Dr. Caligari.'    Cinematography:   Willy Hameister is the cinematographer of the film. Actually, to tell about cinematography, we should tell about the shots, Mise-en-scene and light as well as shadow.    Shots:  In fact, Close-up and mid shots are used mostly in this film. But sometimes, we see the use of long shots. Actually, close-up shots are used mainly in horror film to shock the audience. It is a German expressionist horror film. In this film the use of shots are also natural.    Mise-en-Scene:  Mise-en-scene means the arrengment of scenery and props. In this film, the scenery and props are designed with the canvases and the canvases are decorated with different kinds of paintings. That canvases helped the film to express the story mostly. If the audiences watch the acting of the characters one time, they will watch thescenery and props of the film two times because of its expressionist design. The scenery is designed with realistic paintings. But these are not natural. This has influenced the film to be more realistic and expressionist.    Light:   Light and shadow are interrelated. If there is no light, dark will be available . And if light is available, shadow will be available too. In this film, light is extremely used to express the scenery of the characters. Specially the light has been fallen only on the character's head, body, mouth. That helped to be it expressionist film. Shadow helped to create shape of the subject.    Acting:  Sometimes. we see somewhere, overacting of the characters. But then was the silent era. So, it was very difficult to mix dialogues with acting of the characters. Actually, it does not mix the dialogues with acting in this kind of silent film. So, it would be seemed funny to many audiences. But the acting has helped to hold the continuity of the film.    Sound and Music:  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent film. So, only the acting can not express the meaning of the story to many audiences. So, sound and music have played an important role to express it ( the meaning). Music is composed by Giuseppe Becce. Sound and music sometimes indicate the next event of the scene. So, any audience can know the next event would be horror or crime or anything. In this film we can hear this kinds of background sound when Cesare murdered Alan. Actually, in this film, sound and music have held the continuity of the events and scenes.    Editing:  The editing of the film is started in 1920. Shooting of the film is also finished in 1920. Editing means merging the shots with each others that can express a whole story. That merging has a meaning. The editing system of the film has created a meaningful story. But as it is a silent film, it has taken much time to finish it in the real time. For example; When the written dialogues are displayed on the screen, it takes much time than reading the dialogues in real time. The audiences can feel boring. Besides, there is little varieties in the use of shots. We only see three kinds of shots on this film. close-up, mid shots and sometimes long shots. And there is no camera movement in this film. But the perfect editing has helped the film to create and express the story meaningfully. Beautiful arrangement of the shots has created the film as an expressionist film and it is the first German expressionist film.
A Still Frame of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a German expressionist film directed by Robert Wiene in 1920. The film is the first German expressionist style film in Germany. The story of the film is written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. The dialogues of the film are not expressionist based . But the visualization of the film is expressionist based. So, most of the film reviewers and experts called it is a German expressionist film for its visualization. The film is designed by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Rohrig. So, there is contribution in design and visualization of the film of three of film designers.

Story of the Film:-
The story writer Janowitz and Mayer both of them were pacifists during the World War 1. Janowitz worked as an officer of the military during the World War 1. But experience left him from the military and Mayer feigned madness to avoid military services. Janowitz and Mayer were introduced with themselves in 1918. Their experiences played an important role in writing the story. Gilda Langer was an actress then. Mayer was in love and Janowitz was encouraged to her. She had predicted Janowitz's military would be successful. But she would be died. In fact, she was died in 1920 at the age of 23. In the film Jane played the role of Gilda Langer's character. Janowitz and Mayer went to a fair in the next time and for the first time they saw the show of Caligari there.
This experience helped themto write the story about Dr. Caligari Character. After finishing the script, they met the head of the production company ''Decla Bioscop Film Studio'' Erich Pommer. At first the title 'Cabinet', 'Caligari' and some other character's name were not enlisted. But in the next time, the names were enlisted and renamed. Writer Janowitz got the name Caligari from a book named ''Unknown Letters of Stendhal''. At last Robert Wiene directed the film 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' in 1920 from the story. Most of the scenes are made from the experiences of Janowitz and Mayer's real life story.


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a German expressionist film directed by Robert Wiene in 1920. The film is the first German expressionist style film in Germany. The story of the film is written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. The dialogues of the film are not expressionist based . But the visualization of the film is expressionist based. So, most of the film reviewers and experts called it is a German expressionist film for its visualization. The film is designed by Hermann Warm, Walter Reimann and Walter Rohrig. So, there is contribution in design and visualization of the film of three of film designers.    Story of the Film:-  The story writer Janowitz and Mayer both of them were pacifists during the World War 1. Janowitz worked as an officer of the military during the World War 1. But experience left him from the military and Mayer feigned madness to avoid military services. Janowitz and Mayer were introduced with themselves in 1918. Their experiences played an important role in writing the story. Gilda Langer was an actress then. Mayer was in love and Janowitz was encouraged to her. She had predicted Janowitz's military would be successful. But she would be died. In fact, she was died in 1920 at the age of 23. In the film Jane played the role of Gilda Langer's character. Janowitz and Mayer went to a fair in the next time and for the first time they saw the show of Caligari there.  This experience helped themto write the story about Dr. Caligari Character. After finishing the script, they met the head of the production company ''Decla Bioscop Film Studio'' Erich Pommer. At first the title 'Cabinet', 'Caligari' and some other character's name were not enlisted. But in the next time, the names were enlisted and renamed. Writer Janowitz got the name Caligari from a book named ''Unknown Letters of Stendhal''. At last Robert Wiene directed the film 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' in 1920 from the story. Most of the scenes are made from the experiences of Janowitz and Mayer's real life story. Plot Summary:-  The film is started with some dialogues of an old man and Francis. Most of the time in the film, flash back has been used. They sit beside an asylum. The old man tells that there are spirits... they are all around us... Then Jane comes and goes beside them. Francis tells that she is his fiancee...' Then he starts to tell about the story of him, Jane and his best friend Alan. The total scenes are shown in 'flash back'. He lived in a town. Alan was his best friend. But both of them loved Jane very much. A carnival was started in the town. Alan was very excited to go to the fair taking his friend Francis. The fair was decorated beautifully. But all kinds of spectacles were allowed to display in the fair that year. The town clerk was very busy with his deeds and tempered. In spite of this, he allowed Dr. Caligari to display a spectacle 'A somnambulist'. That night the town clerk was murdered. The next day, Francis and Alan came to the carnival. Dr. Caligari presented a somnambulist named 'Cesare' for the first time in the fair. He told the audiences of the fair that the somnambulist was 23 years old and he was sleeping for 23 years. He would tell the people of their future and secrets. Francis and Alan was there. Caligari ordered Cesare to come out from the coffin.He awakened Cesare. Dr. Caligari told he would answer all all about their questions. Alan was very excited to ask a question. He asked 'How long would he live?' The somnambulist answered till the break of dawn. Alan was upset. That night Alan was murdered . Francis could not believe that at first. Then he thought about the somnambulist's prophecy. He wanted police authorization to investigate the case. Jane was very upset to hear the news that Alan was died. Francis told about that to Dr. Olfen, Jane's father. That night police caught a murderer who tried to kill a woman of the town. Francis and Dr. Olfen went to check the somnambulist . They could know that a murderer had been caught by the police. But the murderer acknowledged that he only tried to kill the woman. But he did not kill the previous two man. That day Dr. Olfen did not go home. So, Jane was very upset. She came to find out her father. She found out the somnambulist by depending on the dialogue of Dr. Caligari. In the next night, Francis went to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari and lonely he checked the somnambulist secretly for the hours. But the somnambulist tried to kill sleeping Jane. But without killing her, he abducted her. At that time a mob and the police rescued her. After walking some distance, the somnambulist was fell in and died. Francis checked the caught murderer in the jail. The police came to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari. They found out the man inside the coffin was not somnambulist. It was a plastic doll alike the somnambulist. Dr. Caligari flew away to an asylum. Francis followed him till the asylum. Francis found out that the director of the asylum was Dr. Caligari himself. He said everything to the asylum staffs. They all read Caligari's books when Dr. Caligari was asleep at night. They found out a history of 18th century. There was a man called Dr. Caligari who must murder as well as did everything with a somnambulist and used a plastic doll of the somnambulist, Cesare. One day a patient came to the asylum whom the director of the asylum made his Cesare and compelled him to do everything even murder. He must be Dr. Caligari. The staffs and Francis could know the history of being Dr. Caligari Cesare from the director and from patient of the asylum. Police at last found out the dead body of Cesare. Francis and the staffs took the dead body to Dr. Caligari. They unmasked the history of Dr. Caligari. He was retrained in astraitjacket. He was become inmate of his asylum. In the next scene, Camera came back from the flash back to the dialogues of Francis and the old man. They went inside the asylum. There, the audience will watch Jane, alive Cesare and some mad patients. Francis will see the director of the asylum. He still think that the director is Dr. Caligari himself. He attacks on the director of the asylum. But the staffs caught him and restrained in astraitjacket. Then the director says, 'Now I know how to cure him, he thinks I am Dr. Caligari.'    Cinematography:   Willy Hameister is the cinematographer of the film. Actually, to tell about cinematography, we should tell about the shots, Mise-en-scene and light as well as shadow.    Shots:  In fact, Close-up and mid shots are used mostly in this film. But sometimes, we see the use of long shots. Actually, close-up shots are used mainly in horror film to shock the audience. It is a German expressionist horror film. In this film the use of shots are also natural.    Mise-en-Scene:  Mise-en-scene means the arrengment of scenery and props. In this film, the scenery and props are designed with the canvases and the canvases are decorated with different kinds of paintings. That canvases helped the film to express the story mostly. If the audiences watch the acting of the characters one time, they will watch thescenery and props of the film two times because of its expressionist design. The scenery is designed with realistic paintings. But these are not natural. This has influenced the film to be more realistic and expressionist.    Light:   Light and shadow are interrelated. If there is no light, dark will be available . And if light is available, shadow will be available too. In this film, light is extremely used to express the scenery of the characters. Specially the light has been fallen only on the character's head, body, mouth. That helped to be it expressionist film. Shadow helped to create shape of the subject.    Acting:  Sometimes. we see somewhere, overacting of the characters. But then was the silent era. So, it was very difficult to mix dialogues with acting of the characters. Actually, it does not mix the dialogues with acting in this kind of silent film. So, it would be seemed funny to many audiences. But the acting has helped to hold the continuity of the film.    Sound and Music:  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent film. So, only the acting can not express the meaning of the story to many audiences. So, sound and music have played an important role to express it ( the meaning). Music is composed by Giuseppe Becce. Sound and music sometimes indicate the next event of the scene. So, any audience can know the next event would be horror or crime or anything. In this film we can hear this kinds of background sound when Cesare murdered Alan. Actually, in this film, sound and music have held the continuity of the events and scenes.    Editing:  The editing of the film is started in 1920. Shooting of the film is also finished in 1920. Editing means merging the shots with each others that can express a whole story. That merging has a meaning. The editing system of the film has created a meaningful story. But as it is a silent film, it has taken much time to finish it in the real time. For example; When the written dialogues are displayed on the screen, it takes much time than reading the dialogues in real time. The audiences can feel boring. Besides, there is little varieties in the use of shots. We only see three kinds of shots on this film. close-up, mid shots and sometimes long shots. And there is no camera movement in this film. But the perfect editing has helped the film to create and express the story meaningfully. Beautiful arrangement of the shots has created the film as an expressionist film and it is the first German expressionist film.
A  still frame of Somnambulist(Cesare) of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)


Plot Summary:-
The film is started with some dialogues of an old man and Francis. Most of the time in the film, flash back has been used. They sit beside an asylum. The old man tells that there are spirits... they are all around us... Then Jane comes and goes beside them. Francis tells that she is his fiancee...' Then he starts to tell about the story of him, Jane and his best friend Alan. The total scenes are shown in 'flash back'. He lived in a town. Alan was his best friend. But both of them loved Jane very much. A carnival was started in the town. Alan was very excited to go to the fair taking his friend Francis. The fair was decorated beautifully. But all kinds of spectacles were allowed to display in the fair that year. The town clerk was very busy with his deeds and tempered. In spite of this, he allowed Dr. Caligari to display a spectacle 'A somnambulist'. That night the town clerk was murdered. The next day, Francis and Alan came to the carnival. Dr. Caligari presented a somnambulist named 'Cesare' for the first time in the fair. He told the audiences of the fair that the somnambulist was 23 years old and he was sleeping for 23 years. He would tell the people of their future and secrets. Francis and Alan was there. Caligari ordered Cesare to come out from the coffin.He awakened Cesare. Dr. Caligari told he would answer all all about their questions. Alan was very excited to ask a question. He asked 'How long would he live?' The somnambulist answered till the break of dawn. Alan was upset. That night Alan was murdered . Francis could not believe that at first. Then he thought about the somnambulist's prophecy. He wanted police authorization to investigate the case. Jane was very upset to hear the news that Alan was died. Francis told about that to Dr. Olfen, Jane's father. That night police caught a murderer who tried to kill a woman of the town. Francis and Dr. Olfen went to check the somnambulist . They could know that a murderer had been caught by the police. But the murderer acknowledged that he only tried to kill the woman. But he did not kill the previous two man. That day Dr. Olfen did not go home. So, Jane was very upset. She came to find out her father. She found out the somnambulist by depending on the dialogue of Dr. Caligari. In the next night, Francis went to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari and lonely he checked the somnambulist secretly for the hours. But the somnambulist tried to kill sleeping Jane. But without killing her, he abducted her. At that time a mob and the police rescued her. After walking some distance, the somnambulist was fell in and died. Francis checked the caught murderer in the jail. The police came to the cabinet of Dr. Caligari. They found out the man inside the coffin was not somnambulist. It was a plastic doll alike the somnambulist. Dr. Caligari flew away to an asylum. Francis followed him till the asylum. Francis found out that the director of the asylum was Dr. Caligari himself. He said everything to the asylum staffs. They all read Caligari's books when Dr. Caligari was asleep at night. They found out a history of 18th century. There was a man called Dr. Caligari who must murder as well as did everything with a somnambulist and used a plastic doll of the somnambulist, Cesare. One day a patient came to the asylum whom the director of the asylum made his Cesare and compelled him to do everything even murder. He must be Dr. Caligari. The staffs and Francis could know the history of being Dr. Caligari Cesare from the director and from patient of the asylum. Police at last found out the dead body of Cesare. Francis and the staffs took the dead body to Dr. Caligari. They unmasked the history of Dr. Caligari. He was retrained in astraitjacket. He was become inmate of his asylum. In the next scene, Camera came back from the flash back to the dialogues of Francis and the old man. They went inside the asylum. There, the audience will watch Jane, alive Cesare and some mad patients. Francis will see the director of the asylum. He still think that the director is Dr. Caligari himself. He attacks on the director of the asylum. But the staffs caught him and restrained in astraitjacket. Then the director says, 'Now I know how to cure him, he thinks I am Dr. Caligari.'

Cinematography: 
Willy Hameister is the cinematographer of the film. Actually, to tell about cinematography, we should tell about the shots, Mise-en-scene and light as well as shadow.

Shots:
In fact, Close-up and mid shots are used mostly in this film. But sometimes, we see the use of long shots. Actually, close-up shots are used mainly in horror film to shock the audience. It is a German expressionist horror film. In this film the use of shots are also natural.

Mise-en-Scene:
Mise-en-scene means the arrengment of scenery and props. In this film, the scenery and props are designed with the canvases and the canvases are decorated with different kinds of paintings. That canvases helped the film to express the story mostly. If the audiences watch the acting of the characters one time, they will watch thescenery and props of the film two times because of its expressionist design. The scenery is designed with realistic paintings. But these are not natural. This has influenced the film to be more realistic and expressionist.

Light:

Light and shadow are interrelated. If there is no light, dark will be available . And if light is available, shadow will be available too. In this film, light is extremely used to express the scenery of the characters. Specially the light has been fallen only on the character's head, body, mouth. That helped to be it expressionist film. Shadow helped to create shape of the subject.

Acting:
Sometimes. we see somewhere, overacting of the characters. But then was the silent era. So, it was very difficult to mix dialogues with acting of the characters. Actually, it does not mix the dialogues with acting in this kind of silent film. So, it would be seemed funny to many audiences. But the acting has helped to hold the continuity of the film.

Sound and Music:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a silent film. So, only the acting can not express the meaning of the story to many audiences. So, sound and music have played an important role to express it ( the meaning). Music is composed by Giuseppe Becce. Sound and music sometimes indicate the next event of the scene. So, any audience can know the next event would be horror or crime or anything. In this film we can hear this kinds of background sound when Cesare murdered Alan. Actually, in this film, sound and music have held the continuity of the events and scenes.

Editing:
The editing of the film is started in 1920. Shooting of the film is also finished in 1920. Editing means merging the shots with each others that can express a whole story. That merging has a meaning. The editing system of the film has created a meaningful story. But as it is a silent film, it has taken much time to finish it in the real time. For example; When the written dialogues are displayed on the screen, it takes much time than reading the dialogues in real time. The audiences can feel boring. Besides, there is little varieties in the use of shots. We only see three kinds of shots on this film. close-up, mid shots and sometimes long shots. And there is no camera movement in this film. But the perfect editing has helped the film to create and express the story meaningfully. Beautiful arrangement of the shots has created the film as an expressionist film and it is the first German expressionist film.

Watch the full movie 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' (1920) here... 


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