The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Blu-ray)

Set in a little village on the Dutch border, fairground hypnotist Dr Caligari puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare who has been asleep for 23 years. At night, dressed in a black body-stocking and with a ghostly white face, he slithers through the town murdering people on the doctor's orders. A student has his suspicions about Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the 'doctor' is the director of a lunatic asylum. The story also has a sting in the tail - added by the producer! This classic German horror film was inspired by the unsolved murder of a girl during a carnival. Fritz Lang was approached to direct but was too busy. The task was undertaken by Robert Wiene who hired Expressionistic designers Hermann Warm, Walter Rohrig and Walter Reimann, all affiliated to the magazine 'Sturm', to design the innovative painted sets that included distorted perspectives, twisted shapes and sharp angles. The idea was to try and expand the cinema beyond its obsession with re-creating reality. The finished film, originally released with an elaborate green, brown and cold blue tints on the print, thrust German cinema to world prominence and had a tremendous influence on cinematic art worldwide and has a quality that still impresses today. Wiene tried to repeat his success in later years, but failed miserably.

Year: 1919
Genre: Cult Films / After Dark, Silent Films, Blu-ray Discs, Classic Cinema, Theo's Favourites
Country: Germany
Director: Robert Weine
Starring: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover
Duration: 72 Minutes
Rating: R16
Location in store: Classic - Silent Film



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