Thursday, October 31, 20154

Bela Lugosi





Bela Lagosi in the stage version of "Dracula", which he performed thousands of times, starting long before is film appearance (photo 1927). He created the iconic Dracula vision based on the book. Below is Ed Wood with the sweater girl and Bella Lagosi (at Paul Marco's Christmas Party, 1954). Bottom is Ed Wood as Nat Pikerton (1920).



Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Vincent Price, Forrest Tucker & Larry Storch in the "V is for Vampire" episode of F-TROOP, 1967

Theater in my blood.

I was a high school theater geek.

I admit it. 

And I am very glad I was! 

I was not in it for the leads, for stardom, for getting on TV on film. I loved the escape into other characters, the ensemble of the world of the state, the community if formed. No where in film or television can you find or live the community of theater.

One regret to moving to Las Vegas was that when I came here, despite the efforts of a few like Grorgia Neu and Rainbow Company, there was not much theater. The Little theater was in a former 7-11 on Spring Mountain just off the strip, complete with polls.


The small theater community here was fighting for culture in the valley. I felt lucky to find an old friend, the former General Manager of WUIC, Chicago when I was Operatons Manger, John Wennstrom and others who made my wife and I welcome our first years in Las Vegas. 

All were through theater and the sense of team, of sailing the same seas, that comes with it.

I did a few shows, including "Cinderella", "Weland's Sword", "A Normal Heart" (UNLV-Royal Shakespeare Theatre) and one in which i really had to stretch as an advertising professional who loved dogs.

Advertising, teaching and/or going to school at night and on weekends, family, support for and from my wife, church and my passion for SAG, thousands of hours of passion and work for the Screen Actors Guild and its members, all drew me away from theater.

I am interested in launching a readers group at my small home in Boulder City, or working through others a program that can work around my Friday and Saturday or SAG conflicts.

I have long wanted to do a living theater based on Boulder City and Las Vegas history, a theater for children or way to pass on what I received at Oak Park-River Forest High School.

I am also looking for a venue to teach acting, coach individuals and offer my talents and services for a modest living, or part of one.

A 30 years resident of the Las Vegas area, I have many references and achievement to support what I would love to do, But I need your help.

I believer in theater, in film, in talent, in the positive it brings into our lives, in the many roles it plays in society and in the wealth is passes on generation to generation.

If you would like to work with me, have a project I can join in, finances to invest in what I believe in and what we are tryng to do, then please contact me.

If you know of anyone who can help launch at least one part of my dreams please pass them my way.

Art Lynch
Lynch Coaching
(702) 682-0469

dr.artlynch@me.com

Monday, November 3, 2014

HOW TO JOIN SAG-AFTRA



WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
While the cost has gone up
joining SAG-AFTRA follows the
same rules as traditional sAG

Are You Ready to Compete as a Professional?

Screen Actors Guild membership is a significant rite of passage for every working actor. However, don’t be in a hurry to join unless you are sure that you're ready to compete as a professional. Prepare yourself by studying, performing in plays and non-union on-camera projects in order to build your resume and gain valuable experience.
When you are offered your first principal union job, we urge you to consider joining Screen Actors Guild, but understand it is a commitment. Once you are a member, you must abide by the rules of membership, starting with Global Rule One. And, whether you are a SAG member or not--never accept work during a Guild strike!

Check Your Eligibility

To find out if you're eligible to join SAG, you can do an Eligibility Check.

Steps to Join

To see the steps to join, click here.

From September 2012.

Film Lexicon: Study film and acting by studying the best




Building A Film Lexicon
Expand your viewing to include films worth watching for acting, interpretation, because Hollywood refers to them and as the base for building an understanding of roles, films and the society the art form reflects. Use these films. Add them to your bag of tricks. Also stay current on film releases and television program trends.
A Partial List of Films Worth Adding
To Your Experience Bag of Tricks

See Also AFI Top 100 (click here). 
See Also 2011 Award Season Links (for current)
Top 232 Movies by theater attendance (not box office)
For the complete list from the British Film Institute click here.

Click read more below to review several lists and consider films to branch our your tools as an actor, 
a fan or a member of this industry. Click "read more" below to continue. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Successful People

1. They set goals and outline specifically how to reach them.
2014-10-28-ben_franklin_quote.png
Ben Franklin was known for his brilliant inventions and maybe even more so for embodying the modern American entrepreneur. His ability to do so was not a fluke; he planned it.
Research has shown that when an individual sets measurable goals for themselves, they are more like to achieve them. Set specific daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals for yourself and your business. Not only should you write down what your goals are but also determine the optimal path to get you there. In doing this you are able to visualize the path you must take to get there. Consistently review your goals and plans to achieve them on a regular basis.


2. They reflect on their day.
2014-10-28-oprah_quote.png
As one of the most powerful women in the world, Oprah Winfrey has shown us that it is possible to do it all. She has conquered television, movies, magazines, and more. What does she credit to her success? The ability to reflect on her day through meditation.
All too often entrepreneurs rush through their day as if it were a sprint, trying to cross off everything on their "to do" list as fast as possible. This can easily lead to a common business-killing phenomenon - burn out. Learn to take time out of your day to reflect. Meditation can come in many forms, all of which are cathartic activities that help you stay grounded and prevent burning yourself out. For some this can be as simple as taking a twenty-minute walk. For others, try writing in a journal.


3. They form mutually beneficial work and personal relationships.
2014-10-28-ferriss_quote2.png
One of the most important things I've learned being an entrepreneur is the ability to culminate relationships with others in your industry that benefit you on both a personal and business level. Ferriss provides us the perfect example of this lesson with how he marketed his book and became friends with others in his industry. When writing his best-seller, "The 4-Hour Work Week", he created chapters he knew certain bloggers would find interesting. This led to an abundance of organic blog mentions, fueling the success of his book and, in the process, helping him create meaningful relationships.
Try to associate yourself with other successful entrepreneurs as much as possible. Doing so will help you learn from them, make you a more capable entrepreneur and possibly lead to more business opportunities.



4. They know how to promote themselves.
2014-10-28-derek_quote.png
Derek Halpern, of the popular psychology/marketing blog SocialTriggers.com, reveals one of the key obstacles holding back most entrepreneurs - they don't know how to promote themselves. There is a fine line between arrogant bragging and (what I like to call) humbly promoting yourself. In order to show people your success without coming off as a pompous jerk, you must master the art of self-promoting.
"Context is everything," says Halpern. Rather than bringing up your accomplishments first, wait for the perfect opportunity, when someone else raises the topic first or provoke them to do so. This makes boasting of your success seem more organic and natural to the conversation you are having.



5. They work for more than money.
2014-10-28-jobs_quote.png
Steve Jobs, who has become a legend among entrepreneurs, attributes his success not to chasing money but to the desire to change the world for the better. In doing, so he created some of the world's most brilliant products.
Entrepreneurs that allow their focus to be 100% on financial gain neglect long-term well-being which leads many business owners to feel unfulfilled and depressed. Just as you should have a diversified portfolio of assets, you should diversify your well-being (i.e. spiritual, mental, emotional) in regards to your business.



6. They start before they feel ready.
2014-10-28-branson_quote.png
What holds back many people from even starting their own business is the preconceived notion that they need more experience. The truth in that matter is that there is no "right" time to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. In fact, many (if not all) new entrepreneurs have no idea what they are doing - even the world's most successful such as Richard Branson. Starting a business is like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book. There are various different ways to reach the end...just be willing to finish the book.



7. They learn from their failures.
2014-10-28-gates_quote.png
Resilience and being able to reflect on your failures is what separates good entrepreneurs from the great ones. The ability to get knocked down over and over while maintaining focus on your end-goal requires tremendous mental fortitude. We often see the most successful business owners invite failure into their lives. A common mantra in the tech world is, "fail fast, fail often". In doing so you spend less time actually failing and more time learning about what got you there so you don't repeat your mistakes.

From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-scalco/7-habits-of-highly-succes_b_6062278.html

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vincentg Price as Edgar Allen Poe



Vincent Price by Alexander Kahle

"I am Legend" with Vincent Price...




The first of three versions of "I am Legend" (most recent starring will Smith). This one with Vincent Price.

Based on the chilling Richard Matheson science fiction Classic "I am Legend" and later remade as "The Omega Man" starring Charlton Heston, and again as "I am Legend" with Will Smith. This classic features Vincent Price as scientist Robert Morgan in a post apocalyptic nightmare world. The world has been consumed by a ravenous plague that has transformed humanity into a race of bloodthirsty vampires. Only Morgan proves immune, and becomes the solitary vampire slayer.

The Last Man On Earth is in the public domain, so you can download this movie here for free:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ibnpEk4hdjo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Vincent Price documentary




Vincent Price sings "Monster Mash" in Halloween commentary on the state of human life on earth...the song comes a bit into the segment, with several other monster guests...

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/i6wDsmSbuUw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

What you may have missed...

Vincent Price, THE TINGLER (William Castle, 1959)


WHY THE MOVIES WENT WEST





By Bill Timoney
From the Spring 2011
New York Actor
SAG Magazine


“The movie business began in New
Jersey, but moved to Southern
California because the weather was better
there….”

Most people consider the preceding
statement an accurate description of the
birth of the American cinema, but it’s not.
The wrong part is the “because” part.
Did movies begin in New Jersey? Yes.
Inventor Thomas Edison — working
in his West Orange, N.J. lab between
1891 and 1893 — took out patents on
his Kinetoscope and
Kinetograph inventions
that he claimed made
him the father of the
motion picture.

Does Southern
California have
“better” weather than
the Garden State? It
undeniably has more
days of sunshine, which
early filmmakers relied
upon to light their
scenes. And it had the haze of
campfires and mists from the ocean..smog,
which provided much of the diffusion of light
that early film cameras needed.




Edison’s motion
pictures were shown
in coin-operated
machines that preceded
the nickelodeons. His
invention became so
popular that other
businessmen entered
the booming market
seeking to profit from
a public’s insatiable
hunger for this new
form of entertainment.
But Edison fought
these new film
companies, most of
which were based
across the Hudson
River in Manhattan
and adjoining towns.


He claimed anybody who made, sold or
showed a film owed him money. If you
picked up a camera and exposed a frame
of film, you had to pay Thomas Edison.
Edison attacked the competing film
companies, such as Vitagraph, Kalem,
Selig and others, with lawsuits, which
cost them time and money to battle. So, in
1908, the heads of these companies met
to determine if they could pool enough of
their own filmmaking patents to challenge
Edison’s annoying legal threats. But they
were surprised when an uninvited guest
showed up at their meeting — Thomas
Edison.




Edison offered his competitors a deal:
He’d stop beating them with lawsuits
if they’d join him. In September 1908,
Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company
was born. The member companies agreed
to make motion pictures the Edison way
— single-reel running time only, with no
artistic aspirations. They also agreed to
pay Edison a piece of their earnings. In
return, Edison gave trust members — and
only trust members — permission to make
and distribute films. The trust would not
permit new members to join, and only
licensed exhibitors would be allowed to
show motion pictures — trust motion
pictures.

But many exhibitors objected to the
trust’s licensing terms, and many fledgling
filmmakers banned from ever joining the
trust still wanted to make films. So they
declared themselves independent of the
trust in open defiance of Edison.

Indie exhibitors like Adolph Zukor
and William Fox bought films from
Europe, where works of multi-reeled
artistic achievement had been made and
distributed to great acclaim. Indie film
producers like Carl Laemmle bought film
stock and camera equipment from Europe
and made their own product to sell to
independent exhibitors.

Laemmle took
particular delight in
defying Edison’s trust.
He named his company
IMP, which he claimed
stood for Independent
Motion Pictures. But the
company’s logo revealed
the true intention behind
the company name: it
showed an impish creature
bedeviling what looked
suspiciously like the Edison
Trust logo!

Edison attempted to drive
the independent filmmakers
out of business by forming
the General Film Company.
GFC lawyers attacked
the indie filmmakers and
exhibitors with lawsuits.
The GFC also employed
thugs who enforced
Edison’s trust through
intimidation. GFC enforcers
confiscated unlicensed films
arriving at the East Coast
docks from Europe. They
destroyed equipment and
threatened actors. They
assaulted exhibitors and
burned down exhibition
halls. They terrorized every
independent they could find.
But they had to find them first.

The determined independents stayed
in business by staying one step ahead
of the GFC. Since Edison was based in
New Jersey, the independents made films
elsewhere. They forced Edison to hire
more lawyers and more thugs as they kept
moving beyond his reach.
The independents became adept at
quickly setting up, shooting and striking
a location before trust goons could be
tipped off to their presence. They moved
so fast that it might be argued that the
nickname “movies” was coined for them.
In fact, audiences began to refer to films as
“movies” as early as 1906, and by 1912 it
was in popular use, although discouraged
as vulgar by the industry.

The independents finally settled in
Southern California because, well, the
Pacific Ocean stopped them from going
any farther. Proximity to the Mexican
border came in handy when they got
advance word that GFC thugs were
approaching. When a young director
named Cecil B. DeMille wore a holstered
six-gun while making The Squaw Man in
Los Angeles, he wore it in case he had to
defend his cast and crew from the GFC.




The Squaw Man was made and released
early in 1914, around the time the Panama
Canal opened. A large harbor was dug
in Long Beach, Calif., just south of Los
Angeles, to accommodate large ships
arriving from Europe through the canal.
Now independents could get equipment
shipped directly, avoiding the East Coast
harbors guarded by Edison’s enforcers.
Edison would need to spend even more
time and money expanding his GFC across
the entire country.

Then a San Francisco court declared
Edison’s MPPC to be an illegal
monopoly. That ruling, combined with
the independents’ five-year war of
attrition, prompted Edison’s surrender.  He
disbanded his MPPC trust and gave up his
claim to a motion picture monopoly.

With stop overs in Chicago, St Louis, Albuquerque
and Phoenix, the industry finally settled in
southern California, where the haze and smog
native to the valley provided just the right filter
for early film movie cameras, laws were loose,
the mob had yet to settle in with its interests
and a certain level of capitalistic freedom was
possible (including low wages). The union movement,
begun unsuccessfully by Actors Equity, did not arrive
until the late 1920's. For example SAG was founded in 1933.

The independents chose to remain in
Southern California, where the name
Zukor became synonymous with the preexisting Paramount Pictures, the original William Fox Corporation gave birth in the
1930s to 20th Century-Fox, and Laemmle
built his theme park-like Universal
Studios.



By 1915, when the new Universal
Studios formally opened, the war was
over. Edison retained his claim to the title
“father of the motion picture,” and the
independents now had an unrestricted
right to make movies. They also had a new
base of operations, a place that offered
more varied and exotic filming locations
than the East Coast — a place that would
soon come to be known as Hollywood, no
matter whether it really was Culver City or
Burbank.

So yes, the American Cinema began
in New Jersey and relocated to Southern
California. But as to why it went west,
sunshine had nothing to do with it.

A SAG member since 1978, Bill Timoney
recommends that those interested in this
topic read the essential work “Early
American Cinema” by the great film
historian Anthony Slide (Scarecrow
Press). 

Also recommended is the multivolume “The History of The American
Cinema” (University of California Press),
particularly the first two volumes — “The
Emergence of Cinema: The American
Screen to 1907” by Charles Musser, and
“The Transformation of Cinema 1907-
1915” by Eileen Bowser.

Click here for Hollywood and SAG history from the start to 2000.


Vincent Price


Joining the Union, what is your excuse not to join?

By Art Lynch

   Most entertainment professionals strongly recommend joining the union once an individual looks upon himself or herself qualified professional talent. The protections and income potential far exceed the alternative, particularly if work s sought in the major production centers of Los Angeles or New York City. Since there is no “must join” provision in Nevada, the choice to join a union is a very individual one based individual background, interest and potential.

    The negative to joining the union in Nevada is simply this. There is no “must join” provision in Right-to-Work states. Nevada is a Right-to-Work state where access to union jobs cannot be restricted to union members. An actor can work union and non-union work in Nevada, gaining the pay and benefits of the union work when working union and the frequency of employment when working non-union. By joining a union you are limiting your ability to accept work offered to you. Once you enter into a legal agreement with a union by joining, you are closing the door on any and all non-union work.

    Many acting coaches advise actors to do work under the right-to-work protection to gain a “tape” or “reel” of their work, needed to market yourself properly as a professional. This should be considered on a case by case basis, because there is value to developing a reel of your profesisonal work (do not include background work or poorly done recordings of stage or showcase work) to use in generating future work, if it truly showcases your talent. The danger lies in being known as a “SAG eligible” or “SAG-e” actor. Quite honestly, most industry professionals will look upon you, as less than a qualified professional performer, since if you are eligible, the industry standard and expectation are that you will joint he union as soon as possible, and step up the next level of your career.

    The disadvantage to doing non-union work lies in exposure and in how much you value your time and talents. Nonunion commercials may run as often, for as long, and in as many markets as the producer wants without paying talent an additional penny. Those same commercials can be turned into print adds, billboards, reedited into other commercials, the audio put on the radio not just in Nevada but anywhere else in the country of world the client wishes without paying you, the actor, an additional cent. When “Excalibur” opened on the Las Vegas Strip, the initial Hollywood quality film commercials that were shot non-union ran for almost a decade. The actors in the commercials found that other employers, particularly union producers, would not employ them. In fact there is a legal liability if you do accept work in a competing commercial, simply put the producers can sue you for breach of contract. And it gets worse, because a commercial for a Hotel-Casino will put an actor into potential conflict on all hotel, hospitality, theme entertainment, gambling, food and beverage (restaurant) and along list of other product categories. In other words you have put yourself at risk for future work in a wide range of areas by doing one nonunion commercial. And then there is the issue of not being guaranteed swept payment or damages that you would under a union contract.

    The advantage to joining the unions lies in wages, working condition protections, future residual or use fee income, the potential of qualifying for excellent health plans and retirement and that to many producers and directors being union means you have chosen to look upon yourself as a professional and respect your own talent and its value. As with many things you would put on a professional resume in your primary profession, prior profession or day-job, a membership in SAG is one vital way of getting past those who screen resumes and photos by the thousands. Often non-union talent is summarily discarded long before the audition process begins.
   When you do union work without joining your are robbing union members of work and weakening both the union and the unions pension and health plans. The union must take care of you and the plans must administer the cost or the plan. That means you are getting services for free, or more realistically, at the direct expense of union members who pay dues and are dependant on work as union talent.

Vincent Price in "The Tell Tale Heart"



Friday, October 31, 2014

Bela Lugosi on the set of DRACULA (Tod Browning/Karl Freund, 1931)


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (silent classic...first Dracula film)



Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (1922)



Originally released in 1922 as Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, director F.W. Murnau's chilling and eerie adaption of Stoker's Dracula is a silent masterpiece of terror which to this day is the most striking and frightening portrayal of the legend.

Another side of Bela Lugosi, AKA "Dracula"



Bela Lugosi

Dracula


10 Essential Films of German Expressionist Cinema.


  by Ekin Göksoy
best german expressionist films

Like Italian Neorealism, German Expressionism had a direct relation with the politics of the time. Neorealism emerged after fascism destroyed Italy. In response, leftist filmmakers tried to create a cinema which dealt with the social realities produced by fascism. 

German Expressionism was born in between two World Wars, in a growing Germany where Weimar Republic had a promising future. The German Emperor had been overthrown and democracy was established. Nevertheless, this new Republic still had its problems. There was a looming economic crisis and anti-Semitism was a on the rise. In the midst of all this, the new Republic promised freedom. The music and literary scenes were on the rise in Germany.


After the Allied ban on cinema was lifted on 1920 – a ban on making films against Allies of WWI – Germans started to search for a project which could combine social critique with the artistic perfection of German filmmakers. This project was Das Cabinet des Dr.Caligari – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. This film which defined German Expressionism was critically hailed in Europe and further afield. It had a significant impact on filmmaking and brought about an opportunity for German filmmakers to work in international projects, particularly in United States.

After World War II, prominent cultural theorist Siegfried Kracauer wrote an important book on Expressionist film detailing how it foreshadowed the Nazi regime and the total eclipse of reason which accompanied it. Of course, German Expressionism was much more than a precessor of Nazism. This movement has many films with a unique style which can be attributed to its relationship to and reflection of architecture. 

Expressionism has a city-in-its mind: a city with sharp angles, great heights, crowded places; a city which is unsettling, distressing and in a constant state of anxiety.
To depict life in Weimar Republic, filmmakers chose unrealistic, cartoon-like places with dark colors, painted on canvas backgrounds which resemble Edvard Munch’s paintings (an Expressionist painter from Norway best known for his painting ‘The Scream’). 

After the rise of Third Reich, German Expressionist filmmakers had no choice but to move to the US. The traces of the filmmaking approach that they brought with them can be tracked in the 1940s film noirs.

German Expressionism, in fact, had a very short life span; however, its cinematic style evident through such things as lighting, sets and subtle, metaphorical language has had a great effect on history of cinema.

10. Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination – Warning Shadows (1923)
Warning Shadows (1923)

Warning Shadows tells the story of a baron, his wife and four men who are her lovers. Set in 19th century Germany, the story follows a shadow player who uses his art to narrate the stories about each of the baroness’s lovers. Each story is in a way a prophecy in which the baron realizes that these men are after his wife, becomes jealous and does terrible things to them. Each story is told through shadows as a warning sign to men.

Warning Shadows is a powerful film where the lighting was characteristic and unique, as was the shadow work. Director Arthur Robison, aware of the power of the shadows, tries to imitate the shadow play with his actors also. 

Set in a claustrophobic castle, camera tracks through dark and narrow corridors and shows the characters behind doors in the shadowy candlelight. Despite its confusing ending, Warning Shadows is an important example of German Expressionism.

9. Der Student von Prag – The Student of Prague (Paul Wegener & Stellan Rye & Hanns Heinz Ewers, 1913)
the student of prague (1913)

This film tells a classic Faustian, ‘deal with devil’ story, a German legend famously reworked by Goethe, although Christopher Marlowe had popularised it in England two hundred years before Goethe’s version. 

In the film, a student in Prague saves an aristocrat woman and becomes obsessed with her. He makes a deal with a mysterious sorcerer who promises him wealth and fame. Known also as the first feature length horror film, The Student of Prague seems to be inspired both by The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Student of Prague is an important film for German Expressionism and has a remake in the same style which is equally important. In 1926, Henrik Galeen, director of The Golem, shot its remake, which is also worth checking out it.

8. Der Müde Tod – Destiny (Fritz Lang, 1921)
Destiny (1921)

Great German director Fritz Lang’s first important movie Destiny is a tale comprising three stories. The scenes binding the three stories together have an uncanny setting but the film can be seen as an epic love story. A woman is given three chances by Death in three different settings, a Persian, a Venetian in Renaissance and in China, to save her love from death.

In Destiny, Fritz Lang uses innovative effects and hints at the unique style which he develops in his transition movie M. Douglas Banks bought the screening rights in the US and used its Persian extracts in his own movie, Thief of Baghdad.

7. Der Golem – The Golem (Paul Wegener & Henrik Galeen, 1915)
The Golem (1915)

Again a love story but this time a sinister one. The Golem is directed by Galeen and Wegener who also play the leading roles. It tells the story of a man who buys a clay Golem statue and brings it to life. However, when the Golem falls in love with the man’s wife is rejected by her, he becomes brutally out of control.

Inspired by an ancient Jewish tale, The Golem has overtones of Frankenstein with its changes of character depicted in emotional ways. The film is set in a German village in which buildings and houses are made of mud-bricks; but all the streets seem endless and all the houses have disturbing shapes and surprising curves. The setting is designed to prepare us for the bitter ending of the movie.

6. Der Letzte Mann – The Last Laugh (F. W. Murnau, 1924)
The Last Laugh (1924)

This is the first film on the list that is not a horror movie. The Last Laugh, written by one of the pioneers German Expressionism, Carl Mayer, starring the well-known German actor Emil Jannings and directed by the talented but ill-fated Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, tells the story of a doorman of a great hotel. The film has nearly no intertitles and those that Murnau chose not to add do not convey dialogue. It focuses on life of a middle-class citizen in the post-war period. As an important film of German Expressionism, The Last Laugh also is featured within Kammerspielfilm ecole.

In the film, the poor, old doorman played by Jannings is demoted to washroom attendant in the hotel. He seems dogged by misfortune – even to the point that as the film was about to end on a touch of hope the writer/director iintervenes via an intertitle and changes his life completely. 

With its innovative, maybe even revolutionary style, The Last Laugh is a great example of F. W. Murnau’s talent and imagination. It is considered the movie which made him famous and paved the way for his move to Hollywood.

5. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
m 1931

M, magnum opus of acclaimed director Fritz Lang, is a rather late movie of the movement. It is the only ‘talkie’ on this list and has both political and artistic importance. Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister in the Nazi Government, always showed an interest in Lang’s filmmaking and had a special connection with this film. He asked Lang to direct Nazi propaganda movies. Lang said he would think it and escaped to Paris that night. Lang always thought that Goebbels got the movie “wrong”.

M is set in Berlin which is haunted by a child-molesting serial killer brilliantly portrayed by Peter Lorre. The film moves between the story of the killer – who whistles the tune of ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ whenever he feels the urge to murder – and the police who are hunting him. Its striking ending is a big question thrown on the face of German people. The film depicts the mass hysteria of then-Germany in a very visionary way. It was an early warning of the rising Nazi dictatorship, or perhaps of all potential dictatorships.

4. Die Büchse der Pandora – Pandora’s Box (G. W. Pabst, 1929)
Pandora’s Box

G.W. Pabst is known to international audiences for two things. The first is this film; the second is being mentioned by name several times in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Of course, Pandora’s Box has a significant value for Pabst’s career. However, the movie owes its fame to Louise Brooks, an American star, who played the leading role, Lulu, a flapper and the mistress of a rich man.

Pandora’s Box tells the story of Lulu, an ill-fated seductive young woman who can be seen as the first example of the femme fatale. Her character annoyed lots of people in Germany since her behavior was viewed as immoral. However, Lulu made Louise Brooks famous and inspired the female characters of film noir. The film is a brilliant portrait of Weimar era and the Jazz age, where there is no place for “free” women and what awaits for those who would like to stand alone and strong is tragedy.

3. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
metropolis

Metropolis is an important example of German Expressionism and of early science fiction. A great inquiry on future of humanity, a critique of society, a prominent dystopian film. Fritz Lang’s remarkable work has dazzlingly designed sets, costumes and unpredictable characters. Beneath its magnificent artwork and set design, the film tells the eternal conflict between oppressed and oppressor.

The movie depicts the story of Freder, son of the ruler of the city and Maria, a working class woman who strives to overcome the social and economic stratification of the city. The city was designed to reflect the social hierarchy with the upper classes living in imposing high-rise buildings and the lower classes dwell underground. A mad scientist, Rotwang, creates a robot identical to Maria in order to thwart the revolt led by Maria and Freder. However, nothing goes as he plans and through Freder’s character, a way to connect the brain and hands is found.

Metropolis received mixed reviews at the time. It was technically breathtaking and revolutionary. However, its message was criticized by both right and left wing scholars in Germany. Nevertheless, it is an indispensable movie. With its subtle references to art history and religious texts, and its design influenced both by Dutch Masters, ancient architecture and Art Deco, Metropolis is a great movie for all cinephiles. It provides important social critique despite the ending being considered by many as naïve.

2. Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922)
Nosferatu-1922

The first Dracula adaptation into big screen, Nosferatu is the magnum opus of director Murnau (at least in his German period, since Sunrise is also a masterpiece) . Nosferatu is the classical vampire story with “nosferatu” replacing “vampire” and Count Orlok replaced Count Dracula. This film is a classical example of German Expressionism with its dark/light games, use of shadow and its cornered, harsh costume and space design. For example, the city where Thomas Hutter (Jonathan Harker in the original) lives has a peaceful and realistic design; but Count Orlok’s castle, his costumes and the vampire itself obviously has one of the most disturbing design approach ever in film history.

Max Schreck, actor who played Orlok in the movie, played his role so convincing that the rumour that he is really a vampire continues today and even inspired a movie in 1999, Shadow of the Vampire. This movie was sued by relatives of Bram Stoker and it was decided to be destroyed; all but one copy survived up to date giving a chance to all cinephiles in the world to watch this amazing movie.

1. Das Cabinet des Dr.Caligari – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
cabinet-du-dr-caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a truly masterpiece and the most characteristic movie of the genre. Also, it is the first movie with a twist in the tail. Caligari, with its genre-defining set design, make-up, costume design, unrealistic use of paints, lights and shadows is the most important film of German Expressionism.

Furthermore, Caligari is the movie which is used both in Siegfried Kracauer’s book “From Caligari to Hitler” (1947) and Rüdiger Suchsland’s documentary “Caligari – When Horror Comes to Cinema” (2014). It is seen as an important reflection of the German society and the political situation which led the Nazi Party, Hitler to the government and whole world to a tragedy.

In the movie, Dr.Caligari a magician type doctor comes to a city and exhibits a somnambulist which he can control hypnotically. The somnambulist has a striking ability to answer questions about the future when in sleep. Somnambulist Cesare actually is a slave of Dr.Caligari and their master/slave relationship brings horror to the city and madness to the leading characters of the film. But who is really mad is not certain until its striking end.
Dr.Caligari has an innovative style which comprised flashbacks, dream sequences, twisted endings – a new approach in cinema which is still fresh and eye-opener. With its exaggerated acting and stylish expressionist understanding in the “unreal/past/dream” scenes and its more consistent narration in the frame story, Robert Wiene marks his name in the history of cinema with this unbelievable movie.

Author Bio: Ekin Can Göksoy is a social scientist/author with an M.A in Cultural Studies from İstanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. He is working on subcultures, sociology of Internet and freedom. He is an occasional cinema writer pursuing his aim of making movies since 7th grade when he watched The Man Who Knew Too Much of Alfred Hitchcock who happened to be his favorite director of all-time.

Read more at http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/10-essential-films-for-an-introduction-to-german-expressionist-cinema/#0bHOq80pARfuVZco.99

Read more at http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/10-essential-films-for-an-introduction-to-german-expressionist-cinema/#4itejQKMgizCwOZx.99