Archive for German

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Needle Io Jeswa & Otto Von Schirach – Nosferatu

Posted in Germany, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by goregirl

Needle Io Jeswa & Otto Von Schirach’s take on the score for NOSFERATU; crazy electronica piece that will punch you right in your third eye.

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in Germany, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2013 by goregirl

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Banner

According to Wikipedia Expressionism is: A modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality. Expressionism was developed as an avant-garde style before the First World War. It remained popular during the Weimar Republic, particularly in Berlin. The style extended to a wide range of the arts, including expressionist architecture, painting, literature, theatre, dance, film and music.

According to Guggenheim Museum (online) Expressionism is: Primarily Germany, and Austria, first decade of 20th century. The very elastic concept of Expressionism refers to art that emphasizes the extreme expressive properties of pictorial form in order to explore subjective emotions and inner psychological truths.

According to Goregirl Expressionism is: A mostly German thing as far as I know. Used in some very freaking cool German silent movies the bestest and shiningest example of which is Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The sets all look artificial and everything is severely angled and exaggerated in size. Every single gorgeous hand-painted set is extremely elaborate and immensely impressive. I dreamt of walking through a Dr. Caligari forest to a Dr. Caligari carnival every night for the past several nights. I’ve dreamt of being chased by letters of the alphabet and being kidnapped by a handsome somnambulist who wears a lot of eyeliner. I can not expressionism myself more clearly when I tell you anyone who loves and appreciates art and all things wonderful, strange and unique must absolutely positively visit Robert Wiene’s amazing The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Viva la Expressionsim!

Writers Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer started the ball rolling with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’s concept. The two were excited by this still very new medium called filmmaking. An endeavor that would bring together artists of all kinds; painters, actors, writers and photographers. The two men admired the work of Paul Wegener (The Student of Prague, Der Golem) and decided to begin work on a horror tale. The men drew on their experiences as all good writers should. Janowitz and Mayer regularly visited a local fair and were inspired by the sideshows; a key part of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’s plot. The film’s visuals were put in the very capable hands of designer Hermann Warm and painters Walter Reimann and Walter Röhrig. Fritz Lang was the first director approached but was committed to another project. Robert Wiene (whose film The Hands of Orloc is the next film in my queue to watch) was brought in to direct and the rest is history. I watched both a black and white and color tinted version of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari but I went with the pics from the color tinted version. I thought the images were sharper in the black and white version but I am a little bit in love with color tint at the moment so I decided to go with that print.

“The following print of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (with the original color tinting and toning) was reconstructed by the Bundesarchiv – Filmarchiv of Germany.”

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A small German village called Holstenwall is the setting for our strange tale. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is “A film in six acts written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz.” The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is not only visual eye candy it is also well written and well-performed. It has a perfect eerie atmosphere and a creepy vibe with an intriguing premise that keeps you mesmerized. The performances are all excellent but the iconic role of Cesare the Somnambulist played by the immensely talented Conrad Veidt is particularly memorable.

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Francis relays a story to a companion after a dazed woman walks by. The dazed woman is Jane; Francis’ fiancée. “What she and I have lived through is stranger still than what you have lived through.”

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This is Francis’ best friend Alan. Alan and himself both have their eye on Jane. The two decide to visit a carnival travelling through town. “Special edition fair in Holstenwall for the first time! Entertainments of every variety.”

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“Step Rrrrright Up! Presenting here for the first time Cesare the Somnambulist! The miraculous Cesare twenty-three years old, he has slept for twenty-three years continuously; day and night. Cesare the Somnambulist will answer all your questions. Cesare knows every secret. Cesare knows the past and sees the future. Judge for yourselves. Don’t hold back! Ask Away!”

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Alan cannot resist asking Cesare how long he shall live. Cesare tells Alan that he will die at dawn.

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Alan and Francis pause to read a post on the wall “Murder in Holstenwall 1000 Mark reward.”

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The somnambulist’s prophecy comes true and Alan is murdered at dawn.

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Francis goes to the police. “I won’t rest until I get to the bottom of these dreadful deeds!”

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Francis tells Jane of Alan’s death.

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“Extra! Extra! Holstenwall mystery solved; two-time murderer caught in third attempt.

“I had nothing to do with the two murders, so help me god.”

Indeed this gentleman has been wrongly accused.

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Jane meets Dr. Caligari and Cesare. Dr. Caligari orders the sleeping Cesare to murder nosy Jane but her beauty prevents Cesare from ending her life. Cesare attempts to kidnap her but gets exhausted from the chase.

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Back in the safety of her home she tells Francis it was Cesare who tried to abduct her. “It couldn’t be Cesare! He was asleep at the time. I’ve watched him for hours.”

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Dr. Caligari.

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Francis goes to the Insane Asylum and asks the staff if they have a patient called Caligari. They recommend that Francis speak to the director personally.

“He, himself and none other than Caligari!”

“While the director now placed under observation is sleeping in his villa…” They take the opportunity to snoop through the director/Dr. Caligari’s office and discover a book on somnambulists as well as the doctor’s diary.

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“Director, unmask yourself, you are Dr. Caligari!”

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The film ends with a great twist although it was not the ending that writers Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer originally wrote for the film. Apparently the producers wanted a less grim ending and suggested the ending that was actually used; which I will not divulge for those who may not have seen it. I have seen close to thirty silent horror films at this point in my life and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is absolutely one of the best and most unique amoung them. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari deserves heaps of praise; it is a hypnotic, creepy and visually spectacular masterpiece.

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Robert Wiene

Starring: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Zenzile – Cesare (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)

Posted in Germany, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2013 by goregirl

Another groovy track from Zenzile! Zenzile’s take on the score for Robert Wiene’s 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with images from Mr. Wiene’s film. Also check out my two nifty tumblr posts dedicated to Cesare here and here. Tomorrow I will have a review for Robert Wiene’s gorgeous film!

DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #50 – #46

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by goregirl

Film is a huge part of my life. I can not seem to prevent myself from introducing it into a conversation with everyone I meet. Once in a while I run into someone whose taste in film so violently opposes my own I want to glove slap them. I do try my best to be open-minded and can usually find some common ground. It surprises me a little that so few people I discuss film with know directors by name. The underappreciated director does not generally make the tabloids and I guess in turn doesn’t make many people’s radars. Personally, I am all about the director as I suspect many a cinephile is. I follow director’s work fervently. If I loved one of the director’s films, it is a guarantee I will see another; those who score a hat trick will have a fan for life! So in honour of the director I give you my 50 favourite! I thought for this project I would mix it up a bit, so I will be counting down my 50 Favourite directors from ALL GENRES! I will be posting these lists in groups of five a couple times a week.

My 50 favourite directors #50 – #46

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

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#50. Roy Ward Baker

What I’ve Seen: Inferno (1953), A Night to Remember (1958), Quatermass and the Pit (1967), The Anniversary (1968), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970), Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), The Monster Club (1981)

British director Roy Ward Baker has a list of 33 feature length films on IMDB. Baker made his last full length feature film, Monster Club in 1981 and directed a number of TV shows before retiring from the industry in 1992. He died at the age of 93 October 5, 2010 in London England. 93!! Holy crap! That is a ripe old age! Baker makes this list thanks to his director status on 3 of my favourite Hammer Studio films Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde. All three are films to which I gave a perfect score. But just look at that list of films! What great fun! Okay, A Night to Remember can’t really be considered “great fun”.  A Night to Remember is about the Titanic disaster without the cheesy love story; not to mention a solid film. Baker is a superb filmmaker who brought excitement to the screen and knew how to get the best from his cast. There are a number of Baker’s films I have yet to see, although some of the subject matters are not of particular interest to me, there is still room for exploration.

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#49. Carl Theodor Dreyer

What I’ve Seen: Blade of Satans Bog (1921), The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Master of the House (1925), Gertrud (1964)

Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s made just 14 full length feature films in his career. I have seen 6 of the 14 and gave The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath a perfect score and the other four films a 4/5! A pretty bloody impressive track record! Seriously, The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of the best films I have seen. A wrought with emotion character study that must be experienced. All of Dreyer’s films have a certain surreal vibe even those with a fairly straight up narrative. Dreyer died at the age of 79 March 20, 1968. I look forward to checking out the other films on his list, if they are half as good as The Passion of Joan of Arc they will still be very watchable!

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#48. Jean Renoir

What I’ve Seen: La Chienne (1931), Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), Le crime de Monsieur Lange (1936), La grande illusion (1937), La Bête Humaine (1938), The Rules of the Game (1939)

French director Jean Renoir has 32 full length feature films listed on IMDB. I have seen a miniscule six of these, but bloody hell what a magnificent sextet they are! I must admit, I only seen my first Renoir film 4 years ago. I was picking up a Jean Cocteau DVD from the library and got in a conversation about foreign films with the guy behind the counter. Turns out Renoir is one of his favourite directors and he actually seemed disgusted that I had never seen a film from the director. He insisted I rented The Rules of the Game, claiming it was one of the greatest satires ever made. I don’t usually allow myself to be muscled by men working at the library, but I appreciated his passion. WOW! He wasn’t kidding; The Rules of the Game is simply perfect. I loved all six of Renoir’s flicks! All beautifully filmed, engrossing and character-driven studies of French society and humanity in general. Renoir died February 12, 1979 at the age of 84 and left behind an impressive legacy on celluloid. Clearly I have tons of fertile ground left to sow in Renoir’s field!

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#47. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

What I’ve Seen: Katzelmacher (1969), Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970), The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Satan’s Brew (1976), The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Lili Marleen (1981)

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made 23 full length feature films and a ton of TV movies during his short career. Fassbinder died June 10, 1982 at the age of 37 of an overdose. I’ve read quite a bit about Fassbinder over the years, and he seemed like a pretty complicated guy. The characters in his films seem as conflicted as he himself was. Meditations on sexuality, racism, oppression, family and the like are knitted through all his films. I have seen seven of his titles and they are all a little quirky. His films get under my skin and his characters are not always likable but are nonetheless intriguing. I have enjoyed all of the Fassbinder films I’ve seen but I am particularly fond of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? Another director who has much juiciness left for me to bite into!

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#46. Jee-Woon Kim 

What I’ve Seen:  The Quiet Family (1998), The Foul King (2000),  A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good the Bad the Weird (2008),  I Saw the Devil (2010),

Jee-Woon Kim is alive! Yep, this is the first living director still making films to land on the list. I have seen every full-length feature South Korean filmmaker Jee-Woon Kim has directed and have given TWO of his films perfect marks (The Quiet Family and A Bittersweet Life). I don’t give a film 5/5 lightly my friends! Kim’s stylish and original films range the genres but each one contains a violent element. I eagerly anticipate each one of Kim’s new projects! His next project, The Last Stand (2013) seems completely and utterly random and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger?! To be honest it is unlikely I would bother with this film if it didn’t have Kim’s name attached. A testament to how much I enjoy and respect Kim’s work.