Sirens and Sinners: German Expressionist Cinema

Our Year 12 students have been looking at such German Expressionist classics as M and NosferatuThe Guardian recently had a slideshow of images from more of these films. Have a look – many of our ideas about film aesthetics were formed by these directors and cinematographers; many of whom, of course, were soon to flee from Nazi persecution to America, where they played a massive role in shaping Hollywood.


My favourite is Fritz Lang’s M. Not only the first cop movie and the first psycho thriller, but a more sophisticated look at the nature of psychosis and group terror – particularly apt given the increasing violence and suspicion in Germany at the time of making – than most directors can manage now. I think it’s a real breakthrough for those students who can watch something so (usually) far removed from their normal experience and understand why it’s so important AND appreciate how it still works today. There’s a good essay on it here. Even better, just watch it…


One thought on “Sirens and Sinners: German Expressionist Cinema

  1. Pingback: Expressionism Round 1: Edward Scissorhands vs Dr Caligari | reflections

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