Friday, December 10, 2010

Movie Night on the Dork Forty: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

So it's time once again to hang the bedsheets over the barn door, pop some corn, and fire up the projector for Movie Night! Pull up a lawn chair and join us for 1921's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari! A classic of German expressionist filmmaking, this early horror film concerns the evil Doctor of the title and his sleepwalking fortune-teller, Cesare the Somnambulist! As played by Conrad Veidt, Cesare is a creepy sumbitch who's been inspiring goth and emo fashion for decades, and with good reason. I mean, just look at this guy:

Though, for my money, Dr. Caligari himself is far creepier:

Don't hate him because he's beautiful.

Of particular note here are the sets. Rather than trying to capture any sort of realism, all the action of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari takes place on purposefully-false and stagey hand-painted sets meant to evoke a sense of madness and fear. It's somewhat akin to seeing Edvard Munch's The Scream put to film.

It is, all in all, an astounding film experience. Which you can enjoy in its entirety... after the jump!

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