Favorite Horror Movies: Part 2–The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari

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https://en.wikiquote.org

In this post, I will continue my series on favorite horror films, specifically of the 1920s.

Another  brilliant horror movie of the 1920s is Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — The German title is Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari — (1920). The plot of the film centers on a mad scientist, Dr. Caligari, a hypnotist, played by Werner Krauss, who exploits a sleepwalker, Cesare, played by Conrad Veidt, to commit murder. It is one of the earliest horror movies and ushers in a decade of greatness in film-making, especially in German cinema.

nightmare

(http://cinewiki.wikispaces.com)

The true power of the film is in its cinematic style, that of German Expressionism, which is based on the artistic movement of the same name. German Expressionism uses sharp angles, deep shadows, heavy use of darks and lights, and distorted forms to explore the psychological impact of visual images. In this art, the world is often not as it seems to be, and the artists explore distortions that lurk under the surface of apparent normalcy. What is perceived is often deeply disturbing and challenging.

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“The Prophet” Woodcut by Emil Nolde: 1912

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Weine employs these revolutionary cinematic techniques to disorient, frighten, and interrogate the audience. Cesare is a common man, forced by an arrogant authority to become a murderer, which is clearly a commentary on the dark forces at play in Europe in the early parts of the 20th Century, some suggested by contemporary writers. As Weine suggests, the mass of people in Europe would, in the coming decades, be manipulated into creating the horror of Nazism and the Holocaust. I am not claiming that Weine somehow could see into the future, but that he perceived the traumas occurring in Europe, and those distortions appear in his film. Like Weine, other writers, such as Franz Kafka, also saw such coming disturbances.

franz-kafka

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

While only some of Franz Kafka’s brilliant and disturbing literary works had been published at this point–“Metamorphosis” (1915)– is the best example, Kafka’s treatment of the darkness and alienation in society could be an influence on this movie. While it is not certain, I believe it is the case. Regardless of if this is true or not, Weine creates a deeply disturbing movie, one that maintains its power to this day, one that I recommend for all lovers of film.

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

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Available on Amazon

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Available on Amazon

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Enough Is Enough!

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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

How many mass shootings will occur before we do something about it? Once again, a horrible shooting took place today in El Paso, Texas. The numbers that I have seen on television reporting are at least 19 dead and over 40 wounded. Once again, this horror occurs in America. Once again, we can expect those politicians who are in the control of the NRA to offer “thoughts and prayers.” Once again, we, as a nation, need to demand action.

Once again, we need to say in one voice, “Enough is enough!”

This is a uniquely American tragedy, not that it cannot happen in other countries, but the sheer numbers of incidents that do occur here make it part of the fabric of our nation.

We must not allow this to be normal, to hear it, be upset, and then just move on. This is wrong, this is evil, and this must not continue. The majority of Americans want some form of gun control. We must not simply want it. We must demand it. We must tell politicians that if they do not take action on gun control, we will vote them out of office. We must demand that they stand up to the corporate gun lobby and the NRA. We must demand that they understand and recognize human lives matter more than the sale of guns no one should have.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Elie Wiesel

Let us speak out. Vote. Let your voices be heard.

Who Is Your Favorite Mystery Writer?

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I hope you have been enjoying this series on favorite writers; I certainly have been. I was thinking about the next group of writers to consider, and I was inspired by preparing for my Wednesday night class at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. It is a First Year Seminar, Muhlenberg’s college’s name for the freshman writing course.  My course is “The Detective in Film and Literature.” We have read Poe, Doyle, and we are starting Agatha Christie tomorrow.

So, my list of favorite mystery writers, always a difficult prospect to narrow down, follows.

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(https://pixabay.com)

First my absolute favorite is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of the greatest of detectives–Sherlock Holmes.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

My second mystery writer is John Connolly, a contemporary Irish writer whose work combines mystery with the supernatural. His writing is both dark and lyrical. His detective is Charlie Parker.

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(https://pixabay.com)

My third choice is actually a writing team: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, who have several characters, but my favorite is F.B.I. Special Agent Pendergast. Their work is engaging and imaginative; they also combine mystery with suggestions of the supernatural. I always look forward to their next book.

My question for all of you is this: who are your favorite mystery writers?

 

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

Quotations on Thinking

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Plutarch_of_Chaeronea-03

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

                                                                     Plutarch

 

christopherhitchens

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”

                                                                   Christopher Hitchens

 

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

                                                                   Voltaire

 

charles french

“A population that asks questions and analyzes deeply is the mark of an educated and free society; a citizenry that accepts blindly and embraces willful ignorance is the material for a dictatorship.”

                                                                 Charles F. French

Quotations on Bigotry

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I have tried to keep political discussion and commentary out of my blogposts, but there are times that demand commentary. Since World War Two, the U.S. Military has lead the way in integration, and today was a step backwards. Bigotry is justified by a fear of change, and such thinking must be challenged.

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(https://pixabay.com)

“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”

                                                               Albert Einstein

 

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org Karel Joseph Raabe artist)

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

                                                   Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”

                                                  John E. Lewis