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What is the Cinematic Movement Most Associated with Weimar Cinema?

Weimar cinema is part of post-war German film culture in which a variety of different films from a particular movement can be associated. Popularly described as German Expressionism, Weimar cinema delivered a host of films that utilized symbolism and imagery. In exchange for realism to deliver moving films. Which most often covered rather contentious topics such as abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, and similar realms. We know Weimar cinema is largely associated with one very powerful movement in filmmaking history. What is the cinematic movement most associated with Weimar cinema and films?

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German Expressionism

Weimar cinema wasn’t coined “German Expressionism” for just any reason. Weimar cinema is largely associated with the Expressionism movement.

In fact, films from this era were largely popularized just as filmmaking was beginning to find its place in post-war Germany.

Devastation that has been caused by the war to European countries would hit cinema hard resulting in a widespread slump of production overseas, but not in the U.S. 

The Expressionism Movement

The Expressionism movement was quite obvious in the 1920s when German cinema would begin to quickly recover from the economic burdens of war.

And locals would begin seeing affordable forms of entertainment that would help them to escape the political and economic woes of the decade.

As a result, German expressionism would lead to two entirely new genres of film: film noir and the Gothic horror movie.

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

Considered the “birth” film of Weimar cinema or the German Expressionism movement.

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920) was an early horror story that would set the stage for future Weimar cinema and films to come.

Featuring a male protagonist that would ultimately find himself caught up in rather sinister events taking place in an incredibly isolated insane asylum, future films of modern times.

Including Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” would incorporate nearly identical plots, plot twists, and other elements.

History of Weimar Cinema

Weirmar cinema, like the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, would spring from the otherwise chaotic time period that occurred between the very end of World War I.

And the subsequent rise in Nazi terrorism. Germany’s defeat in the war would give rise to a number of expressionist movement films.

That would heavily incorporate symbolism and imagery to deliver aesthetically pristine films. On concepts and topics that were otherwise unspoken of and morally inept. 

For Example

Although the Weimar cinematic movement was not exactly the same as the Expressionist movement. It’s important to note that various effects and symbolism.

That would be incorporated into films of this era would greatly resemble those of the Expressionistic movement.

Additional Weimar films include those by Directors Fritz Lang, and F.W. Murnau such as Nosferatu (1922).

The Takeaway

So what is the cinematic movement most associated with Weimar cinema? The Expressionistic movement is the most commonly associated movement to Weimar cinema.

Which is why Weimar cinema was also called German Expressionism.