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Marketing Expressionism in Weimar Cinema and the Applied Arts


The term "Expressionist film" enjoys wide currency and notoriety, yet as a definition it has been regarded with reservation. At issue is not only the appropriateness of the term but also the field the definition is supposed to designate. The borders of discussion change dramatically: sometimes they expand to embrace the entire period of German silent film, at other times they shrink to a mere handful, no more than half a dozen, films.

The uncertainty first surfaces in Siegfried Kracauer's and Lotte Eisner's classic studies on Weimar cinema published after WWII, and becomes steadily more acute with ensuing publications, through to the (not numerous) more recent studies that tend to balk when it comes to tackling the issue head-on.[1] This preamble will not rehearse old issues. Decisive transformations of the debate have taken place over the past three decades, so that to write about Expressionist film is almost a completely new undertaking now. A different concept of film archiving and a growing awareness of philological concerns have given rise to a framework that was inconceivable before. New finds in the archives, reconstructions, restorations; new approaches to questions of color, titles, and film music; and greater attention to sources as a whole (from multiple elements of a given film to the critical reception upon its release): all these elements have not so much propelled the investigation forward, as generated a transformed object of study.

It’s no wonder, then, that an inquiry into this field today elicits a reformulation of central concerns that make headway in new directions.

The history begins with the release in February 1920 of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene, based on a screenplay by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Produced by Decla studios, the art directors were Walter Reimann, Walter Röhrig, and Hermann Warm; the cast included Werner Krauss (who starred in the Berlin stage productions of Die Koralle, and Seeschlacht, 1918), and Conrad Veidt (who had acted in the same plays). The grisly and haunting tale, the use of scenery with an overtly Expressionist pictorial style, and, in particular, the adoption of the kind of set-design that was typical of Expressionist theater, as well as the performance of actors borrowed from the stage - all this left an enormous impression on the audience of the time and heralded one of the most intense and rich periods in German silent film production.

While this outline may seem to vary little from the traditional analysis of film history, some of the implications allow for an original assessment. The new direction was not a chance, one-off venture undertaken by a group of young artists. Quite the opposite, it was the upshot of a precise agenda adopted by the German film industry. The resounding success of Caligari was neither accidental nor just lucky; it was piloted by a concerted promotional campaign that focused on its novelty and the pairing of the film medium with the Expressionist movement.

The producers' goal was to give a fresh impulse to the film industry, grafting onto its thematic repertoire and stylistic resources, the potential of the avantgarde movement. The industry's gamble involved drawing in figures from the art world (directors, actors, authors, stage designers, painters) with no prior experience of the medium, who had to bring about a leap in quality to shepherd the medium toward a new standard (we will get back to that later).

This phenomenon had an important precedent in Germany in the "Autorenfilm," a genre of auteur productions. In 1912 and 1913 the German film market underwent a crucial shift in scale that transformed it through the collaboration of many leading literary and theater figures (including Schnitzler, Hofmannsthal, Hauptmann, Reinhardt, Moissi, and Bassermann).[2] The expansion of German film production from the small companies into a proper industry was accompanied by an important contribution of Expressionism. Kurt Pinthus assembled a group of authors (Else Lasker-Schüler, Walter Hasenclever, Albert Ehrenstein, Ludwig Rubiner, et. al.), who put together a Kinobuch of new screenplays, though only one[3] ever got beyond the project stage. After the success of Caligari, the attempts increased, in the smaller studios as well, to reorient production in the same direction. Many critical assessments at the time speak of a "Caligari mania," confirming the extent of the phenomenon. Even the organization of public viewing adapted to the craze, spawning Expressionist movie theaters and the restructuring of existing theaters aligned with the same criteria.[4] Advertising also received an overhaul. For months the graphics of film publicity went Expressionist, even when the film being advertised had nothing to do with the new trend. The entire film sector (reacting either positively or negatively, as discussed further on) apprised the situation as the beginning of a new era.

That same year brought the release of Von morgens bis mitternachts,[5] adapted from the stage play by Georg Kaiser and directed by Karl Heinz Martin (who had previously directed the play at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg in September 1918), with sets designed by Robert Neppach, and starring Ernst Deutsch (the lead in the 1916 stage production of Der Sohn in Dresden). The same director (together with Rudolf Leonhard for the screenplay) later filmed Das Haus zum Mond (1923, since lost), once again with sets by Robert Neppach, and the participation onscreen of Fritz Kortner (another up-and-coming star of the Expressionist theater). Robert Wiene filmed Genuine, with sets by César Klein. Taking advantage of the contribution by the Expressionist architect Hans Poelzig, who unlike those before him built fully three-dimensional sets for the film, recreating a medieval ghetto, Paul Wegener filmed the second version of The Golem. Walter Reimann contributed to Algol, directed by Hans Werckmeister, based on an original idea of the "union of Expressionist-Cubist sets in a naturalistic environment. "[6] The film Masken (lost) by William Wauer was hailed, with negative assessements, by the critics as another contribution to the new trend. In 1921 we find Neppach once more among the credits of Brandherd, scripted by Carl Mayer and directed by Hanns Kobe. Subsequent films resumed the "programmatic" framework of these first works, Raskolnikow (Crime and Punishment, 1923, again by Wiene, with sets by Andreev), Wachsfigurenkabinett (Waxworks, 1924, by Paul Leni, with costumes by Ernst Stern).

There are many more films, either lost or destroyed, that are mentioned in press reviews of the period for their adoption (albeit partial) of a similar aesthetic outlook. These include Toteninsel by Carl Froelich (sets by Warm, Röhrig, and Robert Herlth); Der zeugende Tod by Heinz Sarnow, released in 1920; Das zweite Leben by Alfred Halm; Zirkus des Lebens by Johannes Guter (screenplay by Janowitz, for the actor W. Krauß), presented in 1921. Others include Zwischen Abend und Morgen by Arthur Robison; Der Puppenmacher von Kiang-Ning by Robert Wiene (again with the collaboration of César Klein), all released in 1923. In the meantime, the after-effects of "Caligari" can be noted, either directly or indirectly, in some of the most progressive Weimar films, such as F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (idem, 1922); Schatten (Warning Shadows, 1923) by Arthur Robison; Der Schatz (The Treasure, 1923) by G. W. Pabst; Faust (idem, 1926), again by Murnau. Also Kammerspielfilme (Hintertreppe, 1921, by Leopold Jessner; Der letzte Mann/The Last Laugh, 1924, by Murnau), whose psychological framework is something of an antithesis to the Expressionist one, nevertheless in iconographic terms - particularly in the way the cityscape is represented - utilize and even vaunt the same models. And Straßenfilme (Die Straße/The Street, 1923, by Karl Grune, working alongside the Expressionist painter Ludwig Meidner). The list ends with Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang, the most eclectic in its range of materials and references, but a film that on dramatic, iconographic, and thematic levels represents a sort of recapitulation of "Expressionist cinema so far," and a threshold of this field.

The Expressionist components find their source in figurative art (from easel painting to scenery painting) and architecture (especially the aforementioned Poelzig as well as the utopian visions of the Gläserne Kette). In terms of subject matter, they come from visionary prose and poetry (Die andere Seite/The Other Side by Alfred Kubin; the poetry of Georg Heym, van Hoddis, and others) and motifs of rebellion in stage plays. Especially in the theater, the new forms were grafted onto highly heterogeneous material and cohabited with different styles from Romanticism to Symbolism, Naturalism and Heimatkunst. Frequently, they were interwoven with characters, themes and settings typical of the literary subculture (adventure stories, exotic tales, melodrama, and detective stories) that underpinned the films of the period. In some cases - particularly in 1920-21, when the trend issued from a precise program - we find the Expressionist style in a more dominant position with other components reshuffled into a new hierarchy. Elsewhere Expressionism serves as a kind of value-added feature used to enliven film texture. Set off by the Expressionist chapter, German cinema in the 1920s became a melting pot for diverse arts on terms imposed by the movement. Heavily distorted sets and backdrops, sharp angles and tilted perspectives, and a tendency to make inanimate objects biomorphic, were the result of a translation to film of features borrowed from painting, theater, and architecture. Other ideas plundered from theater and architecture include lighting techniques that build a dramatic space through chiaroscuro effects and angled light sources. Heavy shadows emerging from the stark contrast of black and white, are also a feature of Expressionist painting, drawings and other graphic media favored by the movement's artists. Some scenes in Caligari are reminiscent of Der Sohn (in the Kiel version, 1919); visual affinities with the paintings of Lyonel Feininger were noted at the time.[7] In Von morgens bis mitternachts Neppach deployed simplified two-dimensional visuals typical of the woodcut. In Algol some buildings derive from the architecture of Bruno Taut and the Gläserne Kette group.[8] César Klein infused Genuine with features of his painterly style. Similarly, films like Der Golem, Lebende Buddhas (Wegener, 1925) and Zur Chronik von Grieshuus (Arthur von Gerlach, 1925) make reference to Poelzig's designs - such as the overloaded gothic and baroque forms, elements of archaic and sacred grandeur in some sketches, where it is impossible to determine whether they were for a film, stage, architecture project.[9] Beginning with the film collaboration of theater directors Karl Heinz Martin and Leopold Jessner, whose work focused on such imagery, the settings of Expressionist stage productions, interiors like prisons, the world of machinery, stairways, and street scenes are all used and reused to the point that they have become virtual icons of German silent film.

The Expressionist aesthetic provided the further ingredient of subjective experience, which the film medium picks up, warping interior and exterior space, and also transforming the camera into an original factor in organizing space, and a protagonist of the action. "The camera is no longer simply an eye that sees, but a kind of alien presence (...) that moves with startling acquisitive urgency and penetration. A presence that does not contemplate, but violates (...) ceasing to be an eye, the camera has become a far more complex and active device with which 'showing' is just one of the various functions, and not the most important," wrote the Italian historian and art critic G.C. Argan.[10] Through movement and shooting angles, the movie camera becomes a decisive factor in subjectivizing both perception and filmic space. In this respect, Caligari was still a film of the past, so to speak, while certain later productions (from Sylvester; 1923, by Lupu Pick, to Varieté/Variety, 1926, by E. A. Dupont) deployed a mode of expression that would become one of the most significant innovations of the silent period.

More inquiry is needed into the cross-fertilization and reciprocal effects of other arts on the film medium. With the exception of Rudolf Kurtz's eminent assessment (Expressionismus und Film,[11] 1926), and Eisner's careful analysis of the influence of theater on Expressionist cinema, film historians so far have been reluctant to deal with the issue. Some have considered such links excluding levels of mediation with diverse materials, from Trivialliteratur to public entertainment, which film had engendered,[12] thereby overlooking a connection evident to Pinthus in his compilation of the Kinobuch: "We have to get used to the fact that kitsch cannot be eliminated from the human world."[13] We are unlikely to get any satisfaction from drawing formal parallels between one of Kirchner's paintings and a German film from the early 1920s, but this is not the point. Film should be assessed as a medium in which even Kirchner’s figuration encounters different models, namely, those of popular entertainment. Moreover, that should be interpreted as a part of a process by no means alien to the Expressionist aesthetic. If an underlying impulse of the movement was the need for contact between the poet and masses (the utopian idea of a "total" art also belongs in this framework), German Expressionist film can be seen as a logical and singularly effective outcome. Furthermore, the moment this impulse produces an original merger of avant-garde elements and popular culture, film takes its place as an important chapter in German avant-garde culture (from Berlin Dada to Neue Sachlichkeit), where its field of action is translated to the arena of mass communication.

Here film is an angewandte Kunst, an applied art, through which the Expressionist aesthetic gradually extended its influence after World War I. “This Expressionism smells of applied art,” one critic wrote when Caligari was released.[14] Rudolf Arnheim reached the same conclusion in 1925, notwithstanding his critical outlook. "The success that accompanied [Caligari] depended less on the force of the storyline or the acting than the 'Expressionist' ornaments (…). But once the procedure of using oblique lines, bunching houses together, and creating jagged outlines has become routine in set design for cabaret, theater, and cinema, and once the walls of even the most squalid little café boast traits of the new fashion, then visual devices of this type become more conventional than progressive, and we realize that in this case (together with a lot of what has been touted at art exhibitions) has nothing to do with Expressionism, meaning the exposure of the ‘essence of things'; what is actually happening is that the surfaces of objects have been reworked from a purely ornamental standpoint. "[15] The film's style is defined as an "entzückende[r] Tapetenstil" superseded by advertising strategies. "When Dr. Caligari's obsession is expressed in the form of the exhortation 'You Must Become Caligari!' projected onto walls and against the sky - now, in the year 1925, the fact that we are familiar with illuminated signs and slogans exhorting us to 'Smoke Velascos!' tends to dampen the impact of this scene."

This negative observation (due to a misconceived idea of the avant-garde that overlooks one of its fundamental aspects, namely, the urge to exceed and go beyond itself, to penetrate the field of popular narrative and figuration and the culture industry and compete with their more typical forms of expression); the observation testifies to the crucial role played by German film in this respect in the early 1920s. Another somewhat overlooked and underestimated factor is the role of cinema as a stimulus and frame of reference for Expressionist aesthetics, and the advances it fostered in other artistic spheres. Theater and literature were most affected, but painting as well (cf. the abstract components of Expressionism and the development of absoluter Film). Although these questions have in fact been investigated (albeit relative to specific areas), a more global and detailed assessment has yet to be made.[16] Such a study could prove fruitful for the historian of literature, theater, and art, though the finds would most likely lead back to the realm of cinema. In the case of Von morgens bis mitternachts, for example, the investigation usually begins with a comparative analysis of the film vis a vis the original stage play, and then with the preceding or almost coeval productions. Less frequent is an analysis of the cinematographic aspects of Kaiser's text."[17]

Regarding the aforementioned "program" behind Caligari, it spawned a lot of outcomes, most of which have generally been overlooked. We have already cited the effect Caligari had on basic procedures of the film industry, including a more coherent organization of the screening spaces; but the consequences can also be seen elsewhere. Although reviews of the film were favorable, the movie industry was wary of a growing avant-garde influence, and some feared that Caligari might steer the industry's evolution away from popular diffusion or force changes in the sector's production methods. They were concerned that Weimar cinema might become an elitist environment, a possibility presaged especially by the film Genuine. "Cinema must remain a thing of the masses; our films, for economic reasons, must be created with the masses in mind; but if they are steered off course by a Kunstfilm, then this Filmkunst has taken the wrong direction altogether."[18] Yet the Expressionist project was accompanied by an astonishingly high estimation of the new trend. It was reckoned to be a vital catalyst for the industry, that would enable the art form to exploit its most original qualities and align better with the technology of the film medium. For some, Expressionist cinema was seen as a natural step in the "organic development" of film (Jhering). 19 For others, the film medium was expressionist per se and cinema represented the “fulfillment of Expressionism (Diebold).”[20] Film was appraised not for its dramatic potential, but for its visual qualities: "The eruptive nature of the imagery, the use of rapid sequences that manage to lend visual expression to the most fleeting mood, this is Expressionism."[21] Film is “an ideal … tool for … Expressionism.”[22] The potential to show the unreal and to project dreams, terrain that early theorists held to be the prerogative of film, was aligned with Expressionism and considered homologous with it: "The film medium," observed Robert Wiene, "lends itself naturally to the … the unreal, to representing it precisely in the Expressionist sense."[23] Wiene added that film allows the use of colors ("cinema is not, as most people like to believe, a black and white art; it has plenty to do with color") as Stimmungswerte[24]. At the same time it was deemed capable of conveying the Expressionist "cry" through intertitles.

Other commentators underscore the affinities between the motion picture scenario and the syntax of Expressionist poetry: the screenplay embodied a compressed style, words with visual impact. "A verbal noun stands for a sentence. One proceeds via sketches, eliminating secondary elements. This kind of writing makes for a concentrated result, for clarity, ruling out vagueness."[25] As for the question of fantasy and dream-states, not only did theorists stress the syntony between film and Expressionism, they also pointed out the latter's contribution toward new possibilities for film, fostering a transition from the regime of "Vision" to that of "das Visionäre."[26]

Another highlighted point was the cinema's ability to construct a coherent spatial system and weave a narrative thread through it: "What was particularly interesting about ["Caligari"] was not so much the plot (which could have been better), nor the actors' performance (...) but first and foremost the utterly novel concept of space."[27] As regards the process of subjectivization mentioned earlier, the discussion made altogether new inroads. What characterized Expressionist cinema, according to Alfred Polgar, was not merely the "skewed sets and Cubist-style landscapes;" what really distinguished it was its power to "project interior events toward the outside (…) this amazing opportunity to construct a universe from the distinct perspective of a given individual."[28] The commentators eventually reached an exact perception of the function assumed in this context by the "entfesselte Kamera."[29] For Jhering, the medium made it possible to break out of the dead-end of Naturalism, thanks to a new generation of stage actors ("cinema exists because new actors exist.")[30]

Balázs formulated a theory of film that took its cue from the characteristics of Expressionism: if the new medium could reveal the "latent physiognomy of things," there was no other art form more capable of showing this hidden face of reality. Certainly, he conjectured, “cinema is the most particular field for Expressionism, and perhaps its only legitimate homeland. Modern films all tend toward this mode of expression, even without wishing to, and sometimes without even realizing it."[31]

The most remarkable dimension of the debate at the time was that Expressionism in Weimar cinema was ascribed a canon of its own and assigned the status of a distinct film genre. From the time of Caligari’s release, in most contributions to the debate (even those that manifest doubts or reservations), the term "Expressionist film" is used in an extensive sense, not only to refer to individual films. The phase in question is characterized by new mechanisms of categorization at the production level. The industry passed from being a system that was still strongly reproductive (by which a successful film could be cloned to create a series of similar products) to being a system that comprised models or film genres with a production cycle of their own. This process played a crucial role in the German film industry, as evidenced by the fact that in the ensuing years commentators increasingly noted the industry's difficulty to properly develop this system of channeling and streamlining as one of the principal causes of its weakness. Expressionist film took its place in this framework, introducing an element of novelty: by establishing a film category no longer on the basis of themes (as had largely been the case with Kinodrama and Detektivfilm, etc.), but on a stylistic basis with reference to a set of precise figurative and architectural elements. The transition brought sweeping changes at both the production and theoretical level. These changes were punctually recorded and commented upon by the critics of the day, who on the one hand acknowledged the multiplicity of new models trying to get a foothold on the market; on the other, they contributed to the definition of new canons. In the post-Expressionist frenzy, various genres vied for position, including the Ballade, Filmnovelle, Stilfilm, and Kammerspielfilm.

The notion of style (anchored in film production at various levels, from the sets to camera technique) would play a fundamental role in Weimar cinema, overruling other principles (such as “Author”) but also breaking free of them, acquiring a new independence and highly mobile vitality. In this sense, too, Caligari should not be viewed as an isolated incident without history or consequence.

* This essay was first published in Stephanie Barron, Wolf-Dieter Dube, eds., German Expressionism: Art and Society (Milano: Bompiani, 1997). It has been revised for this occasion. Of note among later publications: David Robinson, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (London: British Film Institute, 1997); Patrick McGillian, Fritz Lang. The Nature of the Beast. A Biography (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997); Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg, Beyond Caligari. The Films of Robert Wiene (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 1999); Thomas Elsaesser, Metropolis (London: British Film Institute, 2000); Tom Gunning, The Films of Fritz Lang (London: British Film Institute, 2000); Michael Minden, Holger Bachmann, eds., Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (Rochester: Camden House, 2000); Jürgen Kasten, “Filmstil als Markenartikel. Der expressionistische Film und das Stilexperiment Von morgens bis mitternachts“ in Die Perfektionierung des Scheins: das Kino der Weimarer Republik im Kontext der Künste, ed. Harro Segeberg (München: Fink, 2000); Enno Patalas, Metropolis in/aus Trümmern (Berlin: Bertz, 2001); Gerhard Vana, Metropolis. Modell und Mimesis (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 2001); Paul Cooke, German Expressionist Films (Harpenden: Pocket Essentials, 2002); Hans Helmut Prinzler, ed., Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. Ein Melancholiker des Films (Berlin: Bertz, 2003); Jacques Aumont, Bernard Benoliel, Le Cinéma expressionniste. De Caligari à Tim Burton (Rennes: PUR, 2008); Ian Roberts, German Expressionist Cinema (London: Wallflower, 2008); Anton Kaes, Shell Shock Cinema (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009); Pier Giorgio Tone, Espressionismo Tedesco (Roma: Dino Audino, 2009); Werner Sudendorf, ed., Erich Kettelhut. Der Schatten des Architekten (Münchern: Belleville, 2009); Francesco Finocchiaro, ed., Musica e cinema nella Repubblica di Weimar (Roma: Aracne, 2012); Olaf Brill, Der Caligari-Komplex (München: Belleville, 2012); Christoph Kleinschmidt, Intermedialität. Zum Verhältnis von Schrift, Bild, Film und Bühne im Expressionismus (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2012); Norbert Grob, Fritz Lang. Die Biography (Berlin: Ullstein, 2014); Anton Kaes, Nicholas Baer, Michael Cowan, eds., The Promise of Cinema. German Film Theory 1907-1933 (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016); Olaf Brill, Gary D. Rhodes, eds., Expressionism in the Cinema (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017); Paloma Ortiz-de-Urbina, ed., German Expressionism in the Audiovisual Culture/Der deutsche Expressionismus in den Audiovisuellen Medien (Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto, 2022).

Leonardo Quaresima is Senior Professor at the University of Udine. He taught also in the Universities of Bologna, Bremen, Paris 3, Salzburg. Regarding Weimar cinema, he edited the new, “revised and expanded” edition of From Caligari to Hitler by Siegfried Kracauer (originally 1947; new editions 2004, 2019), the Italian edition of Der sichtbare Mensch by Bela Balázs (2008), and the writings on cinema by Joseph Roth (2015). His last books include German Cinema: The Films (2019) and Babylon Berlin - Weimar Today (2023).


[1] The landmark studies by Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of German Film (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947) and Lotte Eisner, The Haunted Screen (L'Ecran démoniaque, Paris: André Bonne, 1952, 2nd ed. Le Terrain Vague, Paris, 1965) are complemented by Umberto Barbaro, Cinema tedesco (Roma: Editori Riuniti, 1973), the most restrictive as regards our object. Among other studies, see Mario Verdone, ed., Carl Mayer e l'espressionismo (Roma: Edizioni di Bianco e Nero, 1969); Michael Henry, Le cinéma expressionniste allemand: un langage métaphorique (Fribourg: Editions du Signe, 1971); John Barlow, German Expressionist Film (Boston: Twayne, 1982); Francis Courtade, Cinéma expressionniste (Paris: Henry Veyrier, 1984); Jürgen Kasten, Der expressionistische Film (Münster: MAKS, 1990); Théâtre et cinema des années vingt, I and II (Lausanne: L’Age d’homme, 1990); Paul Coates, The Gorgon's Gaze. German Cinema, Expressonism, and the Image of Horror (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Leonardo Quaresima, "Der Expressionismus als Filmgattung," in Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg, eds., Filmkultur zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik (München-London-New York-Paris: Saur, 1992). More specifically on "Caligari," noteworthy publications include Mike Budd, ed., The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Texts, Contexts, Histories (New Brunswick-London: Rutgers University Press, 1990); Uli Jung, Walter Schatzberg, Robert Wiene: Der Caligari Regisseur (Berlin: Henschel, 1995); and the publication of the screenplay (München: text + kritik, 1995).

[2] It also saw the launch of a national German cinema. The fact that this was undertaken largely by foreign firms (the Danish company Nordisk, in particular), to whom Germany offered a market for their film industry's products, is an interesting paradox that I have discussed elsewhere. See "L'Autorenfilm allemand. Un cinéma national produit par des sociétés étrangères," in Roland Cosandey, François Albera, eds., Cinéma sans frontières. 1896-1918/Images Across Borders (Québec-Lausanne: Nuit Blanche/Payot, 1995).

[3] The scenario that was filmed was by Heinrich Lautensack, Zwischen Himmel und Erde (Between Heaven and Earth), produced by Continental Kunstfilm, for whom the writer worked as Dramaturg and Reklame- Chef (Lichtbild-Bühne, no. 23, 7 June 1913: 162).

[4] Examples include Decla-Lichtspiele's Unter den Linden theater; a Decla movie theater at Weißensee; and one in Hamburg-Altona. For sources, see Der Expressionismus als Filmgattung, 194 (nos. 77-79).

[5] The film never went on general release, however. See Inge Degenhardt, "Nuove forme contro vecchie formule? 'Von morgens bis mitternachts,'” in Cinegrafie, no. 7, 1994. The same writer is responsible for an important study on the use of black and white in this film, a deliberate choice against the accepted use of color for films of the period: "On the Absence and Presence of Colour in Film," in Monica Dall'Asta, Guglielmo Pescatore, Leonardo Quaresima, eds., Il colore nel cinema muto (Bologna-Udine: Mano/Università di Udine, 1996). An Italian version of the text appeared in Fotogenia, no. 1, 1994. On the same film, see also the essays in Claudine Amiard-Chevrel, ed., Théâtre et cinéma années Vingt, vol. 1, L'Age d'Homme (Lausanne, 1990).

[6] F. O. [Fritz Olimsky], "Algol," in Berliner Börsen-Zeitung, 5 September 1920.

[7] "Der kubistische Film," in Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 29 February 1920. Die Stadt am Ende der Welt (The City at the End of the World, 1911) is the Feininger work at issue. Anton Kaes stresses the link between Caligari and Kirchner’s paintings in Shell Shock Cinema, 84-85.

[8] Cf. the figurative devices of Taut's Alpine Architektur, or those of Hermann Finsterlin; the latter's designs have close affinities to Reimann's sketches reproduced in "W. Reimann, Filmarchitektur - Filmarchitektur?!," in Gebrauchsgraphik, no. 26: 24.; this parallel was also pointed out in Dietrich Neumann, ed., Filmarchitektur. Von Metropolis bis Blade Runner (München-New York: Prestel, 1996), 64 . The question of possible influence of motifs by Paul Scheerbart, inspirer of the Gläserne Kette group, is discussed in "H[einrich] de Fries: Raumgestaltung im Film," in Wasmuths Monatshefte für Baukunst, nos. 3-4, 1920-21: 79.

[9] "About 1920 those borders disappear completely; each area of creativity spills into its neighbor; it is virtually impossible to consider each area as a separate entity. There are sketches of interiors for Golem that could easily be preparatory sketches for stage designs of the same period, and vice versa; at the same time, however, these drawings envision 'real' works of architecture, like so many preparatory plans. A number of sketches can be confidently attributed both to film/theater activity and to preliminary drawings for the Festspielhaus in Salzburg." Gerhard Storck, "Architektur zur Erhöhung des Lebensgefühles," in Der dramatische Raum: Hans Poelzig-Malerei, Theater, Film (Krefeld: Museen Haus Lange und Haus Esters, 1986), 31.

[10] Giulio Carlo Argan, "Espressionismo: pittura e cinema," in M. Verdone, ed., Carl Mayer e l'espressionismo, 70 and 67.

[11] Verlag der Lichtbildbühne, Berlin 1926 (Anastatic reprint, Zürich: Hans Rohr, 1965).

[12] The reference here is to the aforementioned and excellently researched study by J. Kasten, which also shows keen attention to the influences of popular literature and Schauerromantik on Expressionist film; the study's interpretation, however, overlooks this transition. While references to Expressionist paintings (by Kirchner among others), are questioned here, Kirchner’s painting Der Rote Turm in Halle, 1915, has been shown to be a source for Nosferatu's first frame by Angela Dalle Vacche, Cinema and Painting (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), 175. On Lang's Expressionist sources see Heide Schönemann, Fritz Lang. Filmbilder, Vorbilder (Berlin: Hentrich, 1992).

[13] Kurt Pinthus, "Das Kinostück," in Das Kinobuch (Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1914), a work that has been reprinted several times.

[14] Ernst Angel, „Ein expressionistischer Film,“ in Die neue Schaubühne n. 4, April 1920; now also in The Promise of Cinema, 424.

[15] Rudolf Arnheim, "Dr. Caligari redivivus," in Das Stachelschwein, no. 19, 1925 (also in Kritiken und Aufsätze zum Film, Helmut H. Diederichs, ed. (München: Hanser, 1977), 177.

[16] Among the few works to pursue this topic: Mara Isaks Ubans, Expressionist Drama and Film: Filmic Elements in Dramas and Film Scripts by Selected Expressionist Authors (Ph. D. thesis, University of Southern California, 1975). A vital reference is, of course, the classic compendium of sources: Hätte ich das Kino! Die Schriftsteller und der Stummfilm, eds. Ludwig Greve, Margot Pehle, Heidi Westhoff (Marbach a.N.-München: Schiller-Nationalmuseum/Kösel Verlag, 1976). See also the chapter „The Expressionism Turn,“ in The Promise of Cinema.

[17] For an inquiry into this question, see Helga Formus, “Autour de la pièce ‘De l’aube à minuit’ de Georg Kaiser. Structure expressionniste et infléchissement cinématographique » in C. Amiard-Chevrel, Théâtre et Cinéma.

[18] Fritz Olimsky, in Berliner Börsen-Zeitung, 5 September 1920.

[19] Herbert Jhering, "Ein expressionistischer Film," in Berliner Börsen-Courier, 29 February 1920 (now in Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, vol. 1, (Berlin/DDR: Aufbau, 1961), 374.

[20] Bernhard Diebold, “Expressionismus und Kino,” in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, September 14-16, 1916. Now also in The Promise of Cinema, 415-420.

[21] H.A.F., "Filmkunst und Expressionismus," in Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, 3 April 1920.

[22] Gertrud David, „Der expressionistische Film,“ in Der Kinematograph, n. 658, August. 13, 1919. Now also in The Promise of Cinema, 420 421.

[23] Robert Wiene, “Expressionismus und Film," in Berliner Börsen-Courier, 30 July 1922. The article is reprinted in the appendixes to the screenplay of Caligari.

[24] Wiene is not referring to the systems of tinting and toning film, but to the use of color in the design stage of the sets and costumes to obtain specific lighting effects.

[25] F. Podehl, "Ein Film von Walter Hasenclever," in Der Film, no. 37, 1920 (a review of Die Pest. Ein Film). The author, however, denies the status of the screenplay as an autonomous art form.

[26] Rolf Merkel, "Das Visionäre im Film," in Der Film, no. 6, 1923.

[27] Heinrich de Fries, p. 68.

[28] Alfred Polgar, "Film," in „Berliner Tageblatt“, 1 September 1921.

[29] Cf. the text by Lotar Holland, "Die Evolution des Filmbildes," in „Der Bildwart“, no. 7, 1927.

[30] Herbert Jhering, "Der Schauspieler im Film," in „Berliner Börsen-Courier“, 31 October 1920 (now in Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, p. 378-79.). The article is the first in a series that ran through to 16 October 1921. (Now reprinted in Von Reinhardt bis Brecht, p. 378-414).

[31] Béla Balázs, Der sichtbare Mensch, oder Die Kultur des Films (Wien-Leipzig: Deutsch-Österreichischer Verlag, 1924). Now also in Schriften zum Film, vol. 1, Der sichtbare Mensch. Kritiken und Aufsätze, 1922-1926 (München: Hanser, 1982), 21. English translation (Rodney Livingstone) in B. Balázs, Early Film Theory, ed. by Erica Carter (New York-Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010).