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Comparison of Caligari & Nosferatu. Visual Style. Robert Weine used sets for Caligari ; F.W. Murnau’s decision to film largely ‘on location’ was unusual for the time Discuss the following issues as they relate to these two different methods: Auteur’s control over their world

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Presentation Transcript
visual style
Visual Style
  • Robert Weine used sets for Caligari;
  • F.W. Murnau’s decision to film largely ‘on location’ was unusual for the time
  • Discuss the following issues as they relate to these two different methods:
    • Auteur’s control over their world
    • Verisimilitude
    • Practical considerations (e.g. Lighting)
technical wizzardry
Technical Wizzardry
  • Consider these two scenes from Caligari and Nosferatu
    • (C: Chapter 7 19.08-25.36)
    • (N: Chapter 2 15.55-23.40)
  • Weine uses filters over the lenses and selective iris-in/iris-out shots to achieve the stylistic effect he is looking for
  • Murnau uses negatives and fast-motion; elsewhere, he uses stop-motion to achieve the stylistic effect he is looking for
  • Compare the two stylistic effects achieved by the two directors in terms of how they contribute to both the world of the film and the tone/mood of it (bullet-point notes: point/counter-point)
special effects in nosferatu
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • Stop-Motion (where the Count is putting his coffin on the coach)
special effects in nosferatu1
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • The back-board winch (where Orlock raises up in the ship’s hold)
special effects in nosferatu2
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • Sped-up footage (where the carriage arrives to take Hutter to Castle Orlock)
special effects in nosferatu3
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • Use of negatives (on the coach journey)
special effects in nosferatu4
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • Fades (on the ship in the feverish dream; also where the count disappears)
special effects in nosferatu5
Special Effects in Nosferatu
  • Silhouettes (the shadow of the vampire)
themes in the two films the doppelg nger
Themes in the two films: the doppelgänger
  • Doppelgänger is a German word: it literally means ‘double-goer’
  • It refers to a double, a twin: someone who looks like you, but is not you. Usually it is an evil twin.
  • Consider:
    • The head of the mental asylum Herr Doctor in Caligari vs. the insane DrCaligari
    • Francis the wronged man in Caligari and Francis the asylum inmate
    • Cesarethe peaceful somnambulist vsCesarethe crazed killer
doppelg ngers in nosferatu
Doppelgängers in Nosferatu
  • Count Orlockthe respected and wealthy aristocrat vsCount Orlockthe murderous vampire
  • Ellen the virgin and Ellen the vampire’s thrall
  • The transformations that overcome Hutter and Knock
  • Use of mirrors to frame the story

Discuss how the different sides of these characters are set up and explored throughout the film.

Why is the theme of the doppelgänger so important to expressionist cinema?

themes of authority
Themes of Authority
  • Both of these characters abuse the authority given them for their own purposes
  • Why is this issue explored...?
  • ...and – more importantly – how do the two films explore it differently?
recap wwi tie ins
Recap – WWI tie-ins
  • How far are the landscapes of both films reminiscent of the battlefields of WWI?
    • How is this idea constructed visually?
  • How is the ‘stab in the back’ feeling that Germans felt after the military surrender in WWI explored in each of these films?
  • How is the idea of the doppelgänger explored in each film?
  • How far are ideas about social change explored in these films (i.e. changing the way countries are run)?