The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Essay

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the first film by Germany to be an Expressionist film. Authorities of an avant-garde movement believed that by using Expressionism in films (as they did in paintings, theater, literature, and architecture) this might be a selling point in the international market. The film proved that to be true and because of its success other films in the Expressionist style soon followed.
Siegfried Kracauer discusses The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in his thesis. I will discuss what Kracauer states in his thesis. I will also discuss the changes made to the original story. Finally, I will state what the expressionist elements are in the film. The film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, is
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He continued in Lang's footsteps and changed Janowitz and Mayer's original version. The original story, by Janowitz and Mayer, tell the story of certain murders that happen in a fictitious town called Holstenwall. It ends with Caligari being strapped into a strait jacket. "Janowitz and Carl Mayer half intentionally stigmatized the omnipotence of a state authority. Manifesting itself in universal conscription and declarations of war" (Kracauer, 349). Kracauer states that Janowitz and Mayer feel that the German war government fit the prototype of that authority. Their character, Caligari, worships power and wants to satisfy his desire for domination. So Caligari stands for an unlimited authority. Cesare functions as a tool for Caligari's murders. "Janowitz, they had created Cesare with the dim design of portraying the common man who, under the pressure of compulsory military service, is drilled to kill and to be killed" (Kracauer, 349). The original version of the story is about real horrors. The version by Weine changes the story into a created illusion by a mentally insane Francis. The body of the original story is put into a framing story. Francis is introduced in the beginning of the film talking to a man. Francis tells his story to that man, the story of his experience with Dr. Caligari. The film goes into the telling of the tale as Francis sees it. At the end of the film, instead of just seeing Caligari put
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