Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (56/250) 
Critics Poll: 235th 
Directors Poll: 322nd 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

I've seen this film a few times before, the most interesting viewing being at an art house movie theatre with a live band providing the score. That's what a film like this needs, a loud modern score breathing new life into it. I do not recommend watching it the way I did this time, squinting at it on my phone in my dark classroom while my students are napping! Truth be told, silent dramas put me to sleep a little bit. Luckily this film is crazy-interesting to look at. This is pretty much THE German Expressionist film, with those wild shadows and angles influencing Hitchcock and Tim Burton and others in the years to come. It's a work of art, taking place in a world that only exists in the imagination. If you're looking for a dark surreal nightmare of a film, this is the one for you. I don't know that it necessarily needs to be viewed countless times, but it's essential viewing at least once.

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