Silent Feature Sunday: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

While I do watch many new films, and have annual awards and will discuss current cinematic topics. Part of my desire to create my own site was to not have an agenda forced upon me that was not my own. This allows me to discuss films from all periods of history whenever I see fit. Recently my Short Film Saturday posts have been running toward silents more often. I questioned this tactic for a second until I realized that if I really do hope to encompass all of film history then the silent era most definitely should not be ignored. If you mark the silent era from the birth of film (1895) to the first talkie (1927), and I realize it could be argued that the silent era stretched a few years beyond that, and also that there were experiments with sound very early; that’s still 27% of film history at current which was entirely silent. Therefore a weekly post (or, however often I put it up) is not out of line at all mathematically or otherwise.

The good news is that many silent films are available to watch online, and are in the public domain. So I will feature some here.

As I hinted at last week when discussing a film I was lukewarm about, this is a film I unabashedly love. Watching silent films is a habit, and one I admit to only practicing irregularly, so part of what makes this film stand out is that I sought this it out on my own after seeing a bit of it and watched myself. It’s quite a breathtaking experience in every way, but one can really see why German Expressionism really took hold in America and elsewhere. It’s an all encompassing approach that creates tremendous atmosphere and is ideal for horror films.


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