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Archive for March 21st, 2013

MastersOfHorror

by Jaime Grijalba.

Brief Introduction/Thanks

I want to thank for all the support that this new series has garnered and I hope that in the near future it can gain more discussion into the ouvre of the auteurs that will be mentioned in the near future. I don’t know if this particular master was expected or not, but I’m mostly interested in your opinion on this particular filmmaker, so, let’s take a look at this german filmmaker of grand stature.

File #2 – Paul Wegener

I’m not sure if there’s been specialized books on the figure, stature and importance of Paul Wegener, after all he is one of the most important early figures of german cinema in general and to the world of horror in particular, he was one of the co-directors of what’s been widely recogniced as the first feature-length horror film, and that isn’t something that you can go saying around without getting some praise and lauded comments, it doesn’t actually matter the actual quality of the film itself, it’s the freaking first horror film ever made, of course you’re going to get attention then and now, either from the historians, the fanatics and specially the horror hounds that like to call themselves that because they are able to watch from every angle and spectrum of the genre and never be dissapointed. Anyway, back to this handsome fellow. Wegener it’s not the first, but maybe here we have one of the greatest examples of the actor/director, he directed and acted in many of what would become the seminal films of the early horror period in Germany, and he was another pioneer, as he practically invented the modern horror franchise, by having him playing the same character in a trilogy of films, playing not other role than the one of the main monster, and by that making his name, his makeup, his monster (the Golem) one of the first known institutions of horror in years to come. The thing is that there aren’t many horror directors that are also actors… maybe the only exception that comes to mind is the one of Ed Wood Jr., which isn’t very enciting (though is he a Master of Horror? we shall know soon enough), and maybe I’m wrong, but I’m just putting this out there because while most of what we consider horror is thanks to the aesthetical aspect of the whole endeavour, there aren’t many award winning performances in horror films historically, and while I do consider this to be a mistake (most of my favorite performances of all time come from this genre, specially from the female protagonists), I think that it’s rare to see a horror film where the main source of the admiration and praise comes from the actors, but I think here we have a special condition: Paul Wegener enters the directing world at the same time as he enters the acting world in his first film, mainly because he has an interest in the aesthetics and the sets, but gradualy his own acting talents permeate the feature and the attention that its given to: closeups start to appear and the makeup gradualy starts to become important. Paul Wegener created the film monster… and oh, so many other things. (more…)

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