Identify three stylistic features of the scene that make this an example of “German Expressionism.” Explain how each stylistic feature functions to create a consistent mood and atmosphere throughout the scene. Write between 500 and 600 words.
Cabinet of Doctor Caligari: 43.47-46.54 [Please ignore the soundtrack on the version linked to on Youtube below. The original film was screened without recorded sound]
The use of haunting and deep shadows in the film is adopted to make the viewers see the world through the lens of Francis, a character uncertain about the facts of his life. Francis’s view of the world is a twisted perception he has created to satisfy his mind’s creation. For example, the walls of Jane’s room and the hallway are painted black with little white breaks to bring out dark shadows. Robert Wiene uses this setting to play out the scene where Cesare, the delusional man, tries to murder Jane by taking advantage of the dark shadows and appearing out of nowhere as he attacks Jane. The use of shadows, in this case, is used to portray Cesare’s evil and dreadful character. Similarly, deep and dark shades are used in the film to paint the theme of horror that the audience can identify with. The consistent use of shadows in the film establishes the gothic horror atmosphere for the audience to connect with the horror feeling as they watch.