Essay: FEAR IN GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST FILMS THROUGH SET DESIGN

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  • Subject area(s): Media essays
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  • Published on: March 7, 2018
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ABSTRACT

The reality around us is always evolving and we may never be able to notice the shift that happens when something enters the culture and changes it. Post World War I people are terrified, scared. Millions of people are dying because of hunger and many other reasons. No one saw such a destructive world before that. After this many artist are unable to express themselves, the Germans had a kind of heritage and a history of being very good at this getting this great angst out. So what we have is in the early 20th century what we have is a couple of movements of Expressionism and it’s all about feeling and it’s all about expressing these kinds of intellectual emotional guttural feelings. Mainstream film and media is one of the major contributors to culture and hence architecture. Since Film and Architecture are the major two art forms that give and take back from culture. This dissertation tries to answer, if there are spaces which are specially designed to evoke particular emotion or feeling through art movement films.

keywords: Fear in expressionist films, Film noir, Film Set design of German Expressionism

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS…………………………………………………………

ABSTRACT

LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER 1 : INTRODUCTION

1.1 Topic

1.2 Inter- Relation Between Film And Architecture

1.2 Research Question

1.3 Aim

1.4 Objective

1.5 Scope

1.6 Limitations

1.7 Research Methodology/ Framework

CHAPTER 2: TOOLS OF RESEARCH

2.1 Literature Survey

2.1.1 Evolution of Cine-Architecture

2.1.2 Film Set

2.2 The Film Movements around the world

2.3 What is a Movement?

2.4 What is Expressionism in Cinema?

CHAPTER 3: CINE-ARCHITECTURE THROUGH GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM

3.1 PRIMARY CASE STUDY

3.1.1 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

3.2 SECONDARY CASE STUDY

3.2.1 Nosferatu

3.2.3 Metropolis

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION

CHAPTER 6: BIBLIOGRAPHY

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 TOPIC

Fear in German Expressionist Films through Film Set Design.

1.2 INTER- RELATION BETWEEN FILM AND ARCHITECTURE

Film and architecture are two different ART FORMS AND CULTURAL PRODUCTS. They are always two different ways, where you will meet at a junction in between the way of two different cities. The process of film making and architecture travels on same bus but with two different motives to live in this world. The film making process is very refreshing from conceptual stage of any story line to the end product of the film making. Architecture is very exciting, finding the new innovations of the people living in the spaces that you created and thinking out of the box. These both meet at a point where architecture is needed in film and film stories inspire architects to design. In films architecture is directly interpreted but in architecture the film concepts are hidden behind the conceptual stage only. As we all know people do inspire, relate, feel, understand both architecture and film.

“Architecture is a visual art, and the building speaks for themselves”. (Julia Morgan)

Architecture exists, like cinema, in the dimension of time and space. Everyone reads and understands a building in an order. To build a building one need to attempt and understand the relation and impact through which they passes. It is that the architect of the building works with frames and openings of the built form, cuts and edits of the design. Meanwhile cinema survives like architecture, in the measurement of scale and moment. We receive and experience cinema in terms of a hidden concept. To make a film, one need to predict the effect on society and result of the film on people. The film maker works with concept and structure, design and construction.

The visual medium of the film should convey that style has always played an important role in cinema. It s one of the reasons why film and architecture have gone hand in hand for the past hundred years. In some sense, the two mediums show correlative qualities; film as photography catches the auxiliary components of designing, while an architectural plan tries to create artistic space.

1.2 RESEARCH QUESTION:

What is the role of Set Design in conveying the Fear in German expressionist films?

1.3 AIM:

The primary aim of this study would be to understand the spaces designed to evoke a particular emotion that we see in films only, not in real world. The secondary aim is to analyze that whether those spaces are desirable or not in real world.

1.4 OBJECTIVES:

1. To understand how architecture is interpreted to generate the feeling that director wants to show to the audience.

2. To understand cine architecture through the German expressionist films.

1.5 SCOPE:

This dissertation would be based on the observation and analysis of the two art forms. The main purpose of the work is to analyze the products of the two great art forms i.e., movies and architecture, which are actually spaces. The study attempts to understand these spaces, their character and the elements, which actually define spaces.

The analysis of space and their characters would include the procedure, which actually create this space-time frame. Since any art has boundaries and the principles on whom they thrive are universal, therefore examples taken up in this study would be universal.

The reaction of people towards what they see. What director hope to achieve by what they put on screen. How they can manipulate the way people think and perceive their surroundings.

The basis of selecting case studies is their effective demonstration of the concerned objectives. The critical analysis and conclusion shall stress on the need to study this relation of film and architecture and further more between film-architecture and architecture.

1.6 LIMITATIONS:

Since both film and architecture are limitless in their scope of work and research . It cannot be done with elaborately, especially considering the time frame of the research. The choice of films for case studies is also taken as per research information. Focus point of the research should narrowed down to limit the scope of research.

1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY/ FRAMEWORK:

Introduction:

Film Architecture

The second step would be the preliminary reading, which would be to collect published materials and retrieve information through published critiques in different books, magazines and journals from various libraries of the city.

Understanding findings related to the topic.

Mostly the topic concentrates on “German Expressionist Films”

Primary and Secondary Research:

Case Examples that will be included are selected over wide range of choices through various criteria in decreasing order of importance as follows:

o Relevance to the topic,

o Influence on the real world,

o Popularity in the genre,

o Contextual Accuracy,

o Visual Quality.

Primary Case studies on “German Expressionist Films”

o The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari

Secondary Case studies on “German Expressionist Films”

o Nosferatu

o Metropolis

FRAMEWORK FOR CASE STUDY ANALYSIS:

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