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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
The contents of the above article prompts me to post several chains of film spots. First...
While Metropolis (1927) is a proper sci-fi film of the 'Pure Dystopian' variety, artistically speaking it's a surrealist German Expressionism work.
Welcome to the first article in Art House, a series detailing the evolution of art house films, and their impact on the relationship between art and cinema. The term art house refers to films that are artistic or experimental in nature, and are generally not part of the commercial mainstream. It is interesting to note that unlike many other forms of avant-garde, filmic avant-garde does not typically generate the profits earned by its musical, visual, and literary counterparts. Most artists who have produced avant-garde films have had to rely on other artistic media as a source of income, including Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987).1 However, there are several films that have crossed over into the realm of mainstream cinema, and have been both financially successful as well as stylistically influential. This article focuses on German Expressionism, one of the earliest artistic genres to influence filmmaking, and one that arguably paved the way for many other avant-garde styles and techniques.
German Expressionism is an artistic genre that originated in Europe in the 1920s, and is broadly defined as the rejection of Western conventions, and the depiction of reality that is widely distorted for emotional effect. Heavily influenced by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and El Greco, Expressionists were less concerned with producing aesthetically pleasing compositions as they were with creating powerful reactions to their work through the use of bright, clashing colors, flat shapes, and jagged brushstrokes. In its nature, the movement was interested in the relationship between art and society, and encompassed a broad range of fields, including architecture, painting, and film. Expressionist films were initially born out of Germany’s relative isolation during the 1910s, and quickly generated high demand due to the government’s ban on foreign films. The films’ appeal soon spread to an international audience, and by the early 1920s, many European filmmakers had begun experimenting with the absurd and wild aesthetics of German cinema. Two of the most influential films of the era were Metropolis (1927), by Fritz Lang (Austrian, 1877–1961), and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), by Robert Wiene (German, 1873–1938). Similar to Expressionist paintings, Expressionist films sought to convey the inner, subjective experience of its subjects. news.artnet.com...
Fans of the art stylization in Metropolis will surely want to check out other Expressionist classics such as M (1931) [which is sort of the sequel to Metropolis], as well as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Nosferatu (1922).
Modern Expressionism too exists, especially in paint, but also in film. Begotten (1991) [a proper surrealist film of the quite unsettling variety] would be such an example, as well as Pi (1998) [which is on the List]. Also here would be many of the works of Marylin Manson, Robb Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses (2003), and last but not least pretty much everything by Tim Burton. In a sense Burton's works almost belong on the List artistically speaking alone, while proper for the List when counting systematic crime dystopia's are his original contributions to the Batman film franchise (which as much as I prefer Nolan's Batman reboot, the Expressionist touch that Gotham mandates was mostly a no show). In closing, fans of the artistic style of the Batman animated series & films of more modern times are unwitting fans of German Expressionism of old.