(Watch Plan9Crunch bloggers Steve Stones and Doug Gibson discuss The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
This film has many interesting characteristics of both German-Expressionist painting and film, such as the transformation of everyday objects — furniture, windows, walls and buildings — into unmistakable symbols that reveal a hyper-psychological essence and the opposition of the standards of naturalism.
"Caligari" is an important film in the history of the cinema because it lays the groundwork for many devices used in contemporary horror films, such as the use of the "mad doctor" or "mad scientist" theme used in many Universal Studios horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, and the use of light, a sense of terror and tension in filmmaking. I highly recommend this film to anyone studying silent films.
(This review was originally published in the Standard-Examiner)
-- Steve Stones