Warning Shadows; Schatten

1602. WARNING SHADOWS (SCHATTEN) (1923-germany). WITH fritz kortner, ruth weyher. Written and Directed by ARTHUR ROBISON. The decade following the end Of the First World War has come to be known as the Golden Age Of the German cinema. The best films Of the period were products Of the expressionist style that had been incorporated into German art, theater and literature. They featured abstract, stylized art direction and set design; deliberately exaggerated bizarre camera angles; artificial lighting which emphasizes shadows and contrasts; and an acting style that is anything but subtle. This classic Of the German expressionist cinema, subtitled “A Nocturnal Hallucination,” is by far the best-known work Of Arthur Robison, a doctor who became first a stage actor, then a script editor and screenwriter and, in 1916, a film director. It’s the stark, eerie psychological study Of a count, who’s insanely jealous Of the attentions his wife pays to The Lover* and various other suitors. The situation comes lo a head when a showman/mesmerist puts on a “shadow playÓ for them all, in which their emotions and passions are mirrored. Paul Rotha, the film theorist, calls this “a remarkable achievement. Its purely psychological direction, its definite completeness Of time and action, its intimate ensemble were new attributes to the cinema the continuity Of theme, the smooth development from one sequence into another, the gradual realization Of the thoughts Of the characters, were flawlessly presented. It earned an air Of romance, Of fantasy, Of tragedy. Bilingual inter-titles in English and German. Silent film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 93 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Drama