Silent Films & Live Score:
German Expressionism

Along with the concurrent French impressionism and the subsequent Soviet montage cinema, German expressionism, with its eccentric and ostentatiously non-realistic visual language, represents the highpoint of the commercial avant-garde silent films. The movement arose partly due to the great post-war flowering of German cinema and partly because the filmmakers had long been cut-off from the international film scene, which was one of the reasons why the alternative aesthetic of German expressionism later became so captivating to the global audience. In four phases, we will outline the richness of expressionist graphics and architecture, cover the wide range of genre interpretations, trace the stylistic development of the movement, and end with a surprising conclusion of the echoes of expressionism in sound film with or without music.