The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt / Edition 2

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Overview

The Golden Age of German cinema began at the end of the First World War and ended shortly after the coming of sound. From The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari onwards the principal films of this period were characterized by two influences: literary Expressionism, and the innovations of the theatre directors of this period, in particular Max Reinhardt. This book demonstrates the connection between German Romanticism and the cinema through Expressionist writings. It discusses the influence of the theatre: the handling of crowds; the use of different levels, and of selective lighting on a predominately dark stage; the reliance on formalized gesture; the innovation of the intimate theatre. Against this background the principal films of the period are examined in detail. The author explains the key critical concepts of the time, and surveys not only the work of the great directors, such as Fritz Lang and F. W. Murnau, but also the contribution of their writers, cameramen, and designers. As The Times Literary Supplement wrote, 'Mme. Eisner is first and foremost a film critic, and one of the best in the world. She has all the necessary gifts.' And it described the original French edition of this book as 'one of the very few classics of writing on the film and arguably the best book on the cinema yet written.'

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520257900
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,258,837
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Film critic, poet, and historian Lotte H. Eisner (1896-1983) was Chief Archivist for the French Cinematheque and a member of the French L├ęgion d'honneur.

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the English language edition

1. The Predisposition towards Expressionism
2. The Beginnings of the Expressionist Film
3. The Spell of Light: the Influence of Max Reinhardt
4. Lubitsch and the Costume Film
5. The Stylized Fantastic
6. The Symphonies of Horror
7. 'Decorative' Expressionism
8. The World of Shadows and Mirrors
9. Studio Architecture and Landscape
10. The Expressionist Debut of a 'Realistic' Director
11. Kammerspielfilm and Stimmung
12. Murnau and the Kammerspielfilm
13. The Handling of Crowds
14. The Fritz Lang Thriller
15. Tragedies of the Street
16. The Evolution of the Costume Film
17. The Eye of the Camera in E. A. Dupont
18. The Climax of the Chiaroscuro
19. Pabst and the Miracle of Louise Brooks
20. The Decline of the German Film

Appendix: The Dreigroschenoper Lawsuit
Principal Works Mentioned in the Text
Selective Filmography, 1913-33

Index
Sources of Illustration

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