The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1919

In one of the most influential films of the silent era, Werner Krauss plays the title character, a sinister hypnotist who travels the carnival circuit displaying a somnambulist named Cesare (Conrad Veidt). In one tiny German town, a series of murders coincides with Caligari’s visit.

As a purely technical achievement, Fisher’s film is a triumph: He digitally scanned all the original film’s wildly stylized backdrops and then carefully restaged each scene, blending old and new footage almost seamlessly in post-production.

The film’s extraordinary art direction prevents one from complaining that shots are held too long. The lack of editing even pays off in some instances such as the frightening shot of Cesare coming into Jane’s bedroom from a window at the back. The depth in this shot allows the approaching somnambulist to penetrate the previously tranquil space surrounding Jane as she sleeps.

I believe that if this film were to be made today it would still be very popular. If it were to be made by anyone i think the top candidates would be either Tim Burton or Guillermo del Toro.  I dont think it would be quite the same but it would be a good way to perhaps educate more people upon the film.


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