Scenes from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene (1920)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the story of a traveling doctor who uses a sleepwalker to terrorize a northern German village. The narrative, with its emphasis on sanity and insanity, resonated with the collective trauma of Germans after World War I. The contrast of light and dark and the prevalence of shadows (chiaroscuro) was an Expressionist innovation that greatly influenced filmmaking during the Weimar era. At a time when camera perspectives were fixed, the use of filters and tinting, and the use of lens diaphragms to frame shots, added to the haunting dream landscape. Director: Robert Wiene, producer: Erich Pommer, starring Conrad Veidt.