Siegfried Kracauer: From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film

Atastrophe of Germany as this art was made Some of it goes over my head but it s not TOO far out there and I like Kracauer s individual voicekr eg 19 Kracauer s treatise on that most influential of German Expressionist films is very well known in film circles and is an interesting read but it doesn t hold up to today s scrutiny and should really only be read for historical urposes His central thesis that The Cabinet of Dr Caligari was a reflection of the changing social mindset of Study to Teach post World War I Germany andredicted the rise of Nazism is not only far fetched but it s not well fleshed out He doesn t address nearly enough German films to establish the German social mindset of the time and it s clear that he hasn t seen Caligari in a while Maybe we can forgive him this because this was before the DVD or even VHS I spent a great amount of time with Siegfried Kracauer over the last semester in a class I took on Weimar Cinema along with this book I also read a significant amoun. Raphy laying the foundations for the serious study of filmKracauer was an important film critic in Weimar Germany A Jew he escaped the rise of Nazism fleeing to Paris in 1933 Later in anguish after Benjamin's suicide he made his way to New York where he remained until his death in 1966 He wrote From Caligari to Hitler while working as a special assistant to the curator of the Museum of Modern Art's film division He was also on the editorial board of Bollingen Series Despite many critiues of its attempt to link movies to historical outcomes From Caligari to Hitler remains Kracauer's best known and most influential book and a seminal work in the study of film Princeton ublished a revised edition of his Theory of Film The Redemption of Physical Reality in 19.

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F sychological history as it is billed but rather one of criticism a thematic investigation of authoritarianism on the German screen a theme whose consistency is convincingly argued albeit this consistency relies upon Kracauer s film selection one that isn t comprehensive Kracauer s insight in Angels in Harmony particular film movements is also worth considerationarticular the economic and artistic conditions that led to Expressionism s defeat and New Objectivity s rise as well as the technical trends that accompanied the move from silence to sound A text that reuires critical engagement and something of a dubious eye but there is Sketchy Behavior plenty here of interest nonetheless I have to admit only spot reading this for specific information over the years but it is worthy of its reputation Kracauer definitely raised the bar for film analysis in the 1940s considering socioolitical Autumn Brides psychological dimensions in film art in this case aimed at a specific subset of work in movie history and in light of the Ion reintroduces Kracauer for the twenty first century Film scholar Leonardo uaresimalaces Kracauer in context in a critical introduction and updates the book further with a new bibliography index and list of inaccuracies that crept into the first edition This volume is a must have for the film historian film theorist or cinema enthusiastIn From Caligari to Hitler Siegfried Kracauer made a startling and still controversial claim films as a The Princess and the Three Knights popular artrovide insight into the unconscious motivations and fantasies of a nation In films of the 1920s he traced recurring visual and narrative tropes that expressed he argued a fear of chaos and a desire for order even at the rice of authoritarian rule The book has become an undisputed classic of film historiog.

A classic in German film studies How early German film mirrored the re Hitler German subconscious As far as his thesis goes there seems little Sticky Church point in typing yet anotherillory against Kracauer s outmoded and fallacious sychological approach to art national character and historicism In short his argument relies too deeply on assumptions on unifications and on specific interpretation that sexuality goes essentially unmentioned even when discussing M dchen in Uniform for which sexuality is effectively unavoidable is one such indication of Kracauer s individual approach an approach invalidated by eually valid alternative readings But From Caligari to Hitler is by no means a worthless text in light of its unconvincing gist it is in its recise analyses of films and its survey of the German cinema which bar its discussion on early cinema is still eminently relevant that this book holds as a necessary read for any interested in that febrile era for the moving image A work not A landmark now classic study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic From Caligari to Hitler was first Witches of the Deep South published by Princeton University Press in 1947 Siegfried Kracauer arominent German film critic and member of Walter Benjamin's and Theodor Adorno's intellectual circle broke new ground in exploring the connections between film aesthetics the Metro 2033 (Universo Metro) prevailingsychological state of Germans in the Weimar era and the evolving social and Christianity political reality of the time Kracauer'sioneering book which examines German history from 1921 to 1933 in light of such movies as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari M Metropolis and The Blue Angel has never gone out of rint Now over half a century after its first appearance this beautifully designed and entirely new edit.

Born to a Jewish family in Frankfurt am Main Kracauer studied architecture from 1907 to 1913 eventually obtaining a doctorate in engineering in 1914 and working as an architect in Osnabrück Munich and Berlin until 1920Near the end of the First World War he befriended the young Theodor W Adorno to whom he became an early philosophical mentorFrom 1922 to 1933 he worked as the leading film a