The original story was mellowed on the insis- tence of the producers, but the painted background decorations, the highly stylized performances, the costumes, and the makeup set an unfor- gettable mood. The film's graphic quality nearly overshadowed the horror story, with its themes of murder, hypnosis, somnambulism, and mental derangement.
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Doktor Caligari also broke a pattern that had been estab- lished soon after the abolition of censorship in explicit sex films, frequently under the guise of sex education or condemnation of prostitu- tion, competed with historical films such as Madame Dubarry or Anne Boleijn and with film versions of Hamlet or Othello. Once Wiene had proven that Expressionism could be successfully translated into the me- dium of film, other directors quickly followed suit.
Karl-Heinz Martin filmed an adaptation of Kaiser's play Von morgens bis mitternachts From morning till midnight, , the story of a bank clerk who makes a nightmarish attempt to break out of poverty by embezzling money but finds that he cannot buy anything of lasting value and finally commits suicide.
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Martin had become famous as a director of Expressionist plays in Frankfurt and founded a theater in Berlin, Die Tribiine, with Rudolf Leonhard in There he directed Toller's Die Wandlung, using a black stage on which the actors were isolated by bright spotlights. The film ver- 23 Guenther 38 Frames from Rythmus 21, directed by Hans Richter, Scene from Die Strasse, directed by Ciirl Grime, 38 sion of the play made use of this device and, with Neppach's designs, was another outstanding example of expressionistic film.
In this case it was not only the form that was striking but also the typical Expressionist con- demnation of materialism and glorification of the poor and downtrodden. There were other films that were important to the move- ment primarily because they reached a wide public. Genuine — directed by Wiene, based on a script by Mayer, and with designs by Klein— serves as a good example. Once again it was the visual form that made the film important, since the story is a melodramatic tale of a femme fatale.
This type of horror fairy tale was typical of the Expressionist imagi- nation, as was the second version of Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam The Golem and how he came into the world, ; see fig. Based on a script by the actor Paul Wegener, who also directed the film and played the lead role, Der Golem retold the story of the terrible clay figure in the possession of Rabbi Loev in Prague, which in the end is destroyed by the innocence of a child.
The sculptor Rudolf Belling made the mask for the Golem while the architect Hans Poelzig re-created medieval Prague as background. The atmosphere is as dense and haunting as that created by Albin Grau in another well-known film, Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens Nosferatu: A symphony of horror, ; see fig. Murnau, one of Germany's great directors, used Henrik Galeen's adapta- tion of Bram Stoker s Dracula, in which the plague is symbolized by a vampire who lives on human blood.
Again the story was secondary to the visual impact of this most horrible of films. Meidner created expressionis- tic designs for the film Die Strasse The street, ; see fig.
Viking Eggeling, a Swedish painter, made the first such film, Diagonal-Symphonie Diagonal symphony , in Berlin, using animated linear designs. Hans Richter's Rhythmus 21 Rhythm 21; see fig.
Hoboken and Walter Ruttman experimented with moving planes and colors. A few art- ists, among them Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, worked with the same concepts in later years. Many other films were part of the movement, but the public soon began to prefer more entertaining, less challenging fare. After , when political conditions permitted the importation of films from Amer- ica, there was no longer a market for expressionistic films. The most frustrated artists within the Expressionist movement were the architects. Germany needed new factory buildings and new apartment houses, not Utopian designs.
Bruno Taut see fig. At the end of he initiated an informal exchange of letters and drawings among a small number of colleagues to spur the develop- ment of a new architecture in order to be ready for new commissions. They shared the conviction that architecture, through its visual and spa- tial impact, could be a forceful device for social change.
Architecture needed to be the symbol of the new world, and Taut called on his friends to become "imaginary" architects, recognizing that "the bourgeoisie, our colleagues included, belittled the revolution by proceeding as if nothing had happened.
Wenzel A. Hablik, a member of the group, stated: "We need new ideals. One of these is the Gesamtkunst- werk, the building. Not the brick box or the minimal living-space box, but architecture as a living element comparable to the cosmic laws. Taut and the others recog- nized, however, that before such projects could be built, a larger segment of society had to be willing to accept the new ideas; "The direct carrier of the spiritual forces, molder of the sensitivities of the general public— which today is slumbering but tomorrow will awaken— is architecture.
Only a complete revolution in the spiritual realm will create this new architecture.
Very few of the buildings erected during this period can be called expressionistic. One of the best examples of expressionistic architecture was created not by an architect but by the founder of the Anthroposophical Society, Rudolf Steiner. Between and he designed a number of ingenious wooden buildings in Dornach, Switzer- land, which were to provide a harmonious frame for the activities of his society see fig.source url
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After a fire on New Year's Day of destroyed the buildings, they were replaced between and by concrete struc- tures that were more conservative in form. Another example of expres- sionistic architecture that is often cited is the Einstein Tower in Potsdam ; see figs. Its powerfully curving forms and the imaginative stacking of the floors give it the appearance of a monolith.
It was reconstructed after the Second World War. No other large commissions were offered. Gro- pius designed a complex triangular structure as a memorial to the workers who were killed by government troops in Weimar in March It is far more dynamic than the massive memorial Ludwig Mies van der Rohe built in Berlin for Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, two Communist leaders who were murdered by right-wing militarists. A third memorial could be added here, the sculptural arcade built by Max Taut for the Wissinger family at the cemetery in Stahnsdorf-Berlin.
Major commissions that would have demonstrated what expressionistic architecture could achieve simply did not come about. Only in modern church buildings did expressionistic forms become visi- ble.
The use of more imaginative forms to enhance the spirit of the faithful was more readily accepted by religious organizations. Domenikus Bohm built the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Neu-Ulm , and Otto Bartning built the Church of the Resurrection in Essen , both of which display an architectural vocabulary that is clearly expres- sionistic. After the Second World War, when many churches had to be rebuilt, expressionistic forms were revived.
As far as interior design is concerned, two well-known expressionistic solutions must be mentioned. Poelzig reconstructed the interior of a former circus building, transforming it into the largest the- ater in Berlin, the Grosses Schauspielhaus see figs. The archi- Hans Poelzig Germany, Grosses Schauspielhaus, Berlin, 27 Guenther tect covered the wide dome structure with stalactite forms and designed a color lighting system that could evoke various moods. On a much smaller scale the interior of the Tanzkasino dance casino Skala in Berlin, designed by Belling and the architect Walter Wiirzbach, was dependent upon cubistic crystalline forms see fig.
It is typical of the period that Behne concluded his critique of this interior with the comment; "Plastic conception of space and movement can be splendid when a free will car- ries the art. Whether or not that [spirit] can be active in rooms for playboys and profiteers remains doubtful.
It was introduced by Bruno Taut and con- cerned the use of color in architecture.
The uniformly gray facades of urban buildings and the lack of green spaces in the cities contributed to the oppressive atmosphere that many of the young Expressionist poets had lamented. Blass, Albert Ehrenstein, Heym, Lotz, Stadler, and Franz Werfel all inveighed against the inhumanity of the cities and the individ- ual's isolation. When he became city architect of Halle , he immediately put his idea into practice.
The lower parts of the city hall were painted fire-engine red, the loggias green, the statues and capitals yellow, and the horizontal courses of the seventeenth-century building black. Assisted by his office, many houses quickly put on new coats of paint, and blue, green, pink, and yellow buildings soon gave the inner city a new look. The Barasch department store was decorated with multicolored cubistic designs in complete disregard of the underlying fa- cade. Taut's garden city of Falkenberg, near Berlin, was called Kolonie Tuschkasten [paint-box colony].
The public was critical, however, and the program was discontinued. Although considered Utopian, some of the architects al- hed with the Expressionist movement were highly gifted and found a way to prove it after At that time many large apartment blocks and sat- ellite settlements were being built, and these architects designed and built some outstanding socially conscious developments.
Taut, together with Martin Wagner, built the influential Horseshoe settlement in Ber- lin, and Gropius created a satellite in Torten, near Dessau. Salvisberg, and Hans Scharoun developed the plans for Sie- mens-Stadt. The settlements integrated practical layouts of apartments, kindergarten buildings surrounded by wading pools and sandboxes, public libraries, shops, and green spaces frequently achieved only after conflicts with community leaders.
The mixture of single dwellings and larger apartment blocks and the configuration of the streets broke the monotony of the typical city. These projects were based on the dreams of the prewar period and the social idealism ol the Expressionist movement. Music, an art form that is undoubtedly an important part of the movement, nevertheless defies stylistic classification.
Neither composers nor even specific works can be called "expressionistic, " yet Schonberg see fig. The confusion of terms is obvious in a statement about the composer by his student. In a lecture before the performance of his musical drama Die gliickliche Hand The fortunate hand, in Breslau in , he stated: "One has called this type of art expressionistic, and I don't know why. It never expressed more than what was in it. I have said [before], it is the art of representing inner processes.
Schonberg's relationship with the Blaue Reiter began in January , when Kandinsky referred in a letter to the "similarity of their aspirations," which he had felt while listening to Schonberg's music. Three of the composer's paintings were included in the first Blaue Reiter exhibition, and Kandinsky insisted that Schonberg write an article for the almanac. In Uber das Geistige in der Kiinst, Kandinsky wrote: "[Schon- berg's] music leads us into a realm where musical experience is a matter not of the ear but of the soul alone, and at this point the music of the future begins.
Thomas von Hartmann wrote "Uber die Anarchic in der Musik " Concerning anarchy in music , strongly advocating the freedom to use unusual sounds and sound pat- terns as long as they corresponded to a composition's inner necessity. In this play, music, light, solo as well as choral voices, and projected colors were combined with actors who portrayed types.
Two additional defenses of modern music were included in the almanac; Leonid Sabanejew praised Aleksandr Scriabin's opera Prome- theus as a ritual mysterium, while N. Kublin propounded Thesen der freien Musik Theses of free music. The chronological parallel of Kandinsky's and Schon- berg's work during this period is significant.