Hitchcock Expressionism

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Hitchcock Hitchcock & German Expressionism Characteristics. The German Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century influenced may genre and directors long after the movement had faded from popularity. Film Noir, horror and fantasy, Tim Burton, Alex Proyas and of course, Alfred Hitchcock. The heavy use of mise-en-scene throughout films like Waxworks (Paul Leni), The Treasure (G.W. Pabst) and the infamous The Cabinet of Dr. Caligary (Robert Wiene) defined the movement. Blending the actors and narrative into the background of the scene is what created visually creative art form. The lighting created shadows and emphasized the fantastical sense of the films and portrayed emotion to the viewer; all things that were engulfed by master…show more content…
Almost sixty years after French Impressionism took the art community by storm, the fresh world of film was undergoing a similar new wave of style. As early as 1915, the beginnings of Impressionism started to show with the release of Abel Gance’s short film La Folie du Dr Tube (Robinson, 1981). Gance tells the tale of Dr. Tube, a madman who discovers a “hallucinogenic” powder that distorts perception and seemingly gives individuals a tripping sensation. Gance, along with a number of other influential filmmakers, began crafting what would become the hallmarks of French Impressionism – portraying emotional content through a subjective perspective with the use of psychological themes, as well as intricate camera work and the use of optical devices. This was braving the unknown by attempting everything and never saying…show more content…
One of the major innovations French Impressionism cinema brought to the world stage of filmmaking was the fast edit. German Expressionism did not do much in the way of cutting a film. Expressionism had longer edits with a decent amount of action or story being played out between the cuts, making for a slower narrative. Impressionism, much like the Monet’s of the world, went against the grain with their art and began cutting films in a shorter form, creating a faster presentation to the viewer. In doing this, the fast edits can enhance certain parts of the narrative or build suspense. In his book A History of Narrative Film, David Cook cites Hitchcock’s suspenseful climax in Secret Agent. As a child is unknowingly carrying a bomb, he is distracted along the way to his final destination. “Hitchcock’s montage becomes increasingly complex until at last the tension is released in a spectacular audience-alienation effect: the bomb explodes, and the boy and all the passengers on an omnibus are killed” (Cook, 1981). Drawing from the films of the Soviet Montage movement, Impressionists took the quick edits of the Soviets and added the emotional thread that would enable those fast edits to become a deeper layer of the film. With the emotion added, the fast edit technique could heighten the story in a contemporary

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