Haunted Screens’: German Cinema in the 1920s

German Expressionist cinema was the precursor of art house cinema today.

The Expressionist movement, which began in the early 1900s and proliferated through painting, photography, theater, literature, and architecture, resurfaced in silent film during the 1920s.  Expressionism sought to communicate a subjective, emotional reality through stylized abstraction. Within the cinematic realm, filmmakers employed geometrically distorted set designs, chiaroscuro lighting, innovative camera angles, and melodramatic acting techniques to express complex psychological states. The protagonists struggle with issues of identity, and the oscillation between control and repression, freedom and expression. Plots often include doppelgängers, multiple personalities, ghosts, and dream sequences..

The core of the show is the collection from La Cinémathèque française, acquired by noted German film historian Lotte Eisner, who wrote the 1952 book “The Haunted Screen.”

Among the master filmmakers were:
Robert Wiene

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Video-Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGbTmzEfB3s

F.W. Murnau

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Fritz Lang

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Haunted Screens’: German Cinema in the 1920s

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Art of the Americas Building
Till April 26th.