Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari" - 1920

The full-length version of this German Expressionist film is your assigned viewing for next week (streamable on Netflix). "Calagari" is considered by many to be the first great horror film. The score for this clip assembly is a modern composition that captures the fear and madness of the original.


  1. I really enjoyed this film! The way the shadows were used and the contrast of the black and white made this film scary. I kept finding myself expecting a scream to come out of one of the characters.

  2. This is the first full-length silent film I've seen and I had to say it was enjoyable as the set design was visually disturbing (I mean that in a positive light) and it had one of the creepiest scenes I've ever seen in cinema - the initial opening of Cesare's eyes. I find it interesting to note that silent films absolutely required what we would consider 'overacting' in a modern context. The motion, facial expressions, and general mobility of the actors are all highly aggrandized but instead of making it a schlock film it comes together beautifully. The use of the iris also served to ramp up tension in some parts and make us feel as if we were peeping in on the action. The most disappointing thing about the film was the horrible time I had reading some of the dialogue as whatever font that was employed was simply awful in my opinion.