The Gorgon's Gaze: German Cinema, Expressionism, and the Image of Horror

Overview

This interdisciplinary study of recurrent themes in German cinema as it has developed since the early twentieth century focuses on pertinent films of the pre- and post-World War II eras. The author explores the nature of expressionism, which is generally agreed to have ended with the advent of sound, and its persistence in the styles of such modern masters of film noir as Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman. In considering the possibility of homologies between the necessary silence of pre-sound cinema and the ...

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Overview

This interdisciplinary study of recurrent themes in German cinema as it has developed since the early twentieth century focuses on pertinent films of the pre- and post-World War II eras. The author explores the nature of expressionism, which is generally agreed to have ended with the advent of sound, and its persistence in the styles of such modern masters of film noir as Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman. In considering the possibility of homologies between the necessary silence of pre-sound cinema and the widespread modernist aspiration to an aesthetic of silence, Coates relates theories of the sublime, the uncanny, and the monstrous to his subject. He also reflects upon problems of representability and the morality of representation of events that took place during the Nazi era.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Coates' insights into individual films are sensitive and stimulating." Sheila K. Johnson, The German Quarterly

"These readings are characterized by great sensitivity to the films in question and are driven forward less by argumentation than by a kind of free association informed by considerable knowledge of European film and literary history and psychoanalytic approaches to film. Often what results are brilliant insights and very persuasive connections..." Monatshefte

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521384094
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/26/1991
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Film Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the uncanny and the gorgon's gaze; 1. Silent cinema and expressionism; 2. The sleep of reason: monstrosity and disavowal; 3. Memory and repression in recent German cinema; 4. Expressionism in America; 5. Elective affinities and family resemblances: for Margarethe von Trotta; Appendixes; Notes; Selected bibliography; Filmography; Index.

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