In his work analyzing early German film, Siegfried Kraucauer defines expressionism as a shaping of primitive sensations and experiences and supports this definition by suggesting that the early German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari makes use of expressionist aesthetic in its settings, making them a perfect transformation of material objects into emotional ornaments.
[...] Kraucauer goes on to claim that device of a framing story was not only an aesthetic form, but also had symbolic content” in that making the film and outward projection of psychological events, expressionist staging symbolized that general retreat [of the modern German population] into a shell.” The authority-chaos theme is picked up again in the film by Caligari's control of the somnambulist Cesare. In the vocabulary of Nietzsche, Caligari is a representation of banishment of instinct” by an excess of history and the rule of convention that turned men into shades and abstractions.” Cesare with his black eyes, lips, and clothing is a very literal visual representation of Nietzsche's shade while his subjectivity to Caligari's murderous will expresses the modern man's weakened personality which is shown in want of self-mastery and in what the Romans called impotentia.” Another characteristic of historical excess according to Nietzsche can be seen in the modern's obsession with the conversion of current events into “history.” Nietzsche waxes fatalistic when he claims that in the modern world, never succeeds in staying on a height; your deeds are sudden crashes, and not a long roll of thunder. [...]
[...] Cultural anxiety of Modern” in Nietzsche and German expressionism In his work analyzing early German film, Siegfried Kraucauer defines expressionism as shaping of primitive sensations and experiences” and supports this definition by suggesting that the early German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari makes use of expressionist aesthetic in its settings, making them perfect transformation of material objects into emotional ornaments.” This attention to man's ancient impulses is, according to Friederich Nietzsche's The Use and Abuse of History, is a more truthful existence but one that the modern man is not allowed to live. [...]
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