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Archive for March 28th, 2013

by Jaime Grijalba.

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File #3 – Henrik Galeen

This Austrian-born and German-working filmmaker is one of the most important figures of the birth of what’s been wrongly called german expressionism, and while he did work in some actual expressionism features (like the first Golem film) his shadow casts longer in films that are more akin to what I was talking about last time: german romanticism, since he was also a screenwriter of the epitome of that style in the horror genre: ‘Nosferatu’ (1922), as well as working in the direction of other two horror films that are strongly tied to that style. Hence, he is one of the most important masters of horror even though he didn’t direct more than 3 films inside the genre (one of them lost except for a few fragments), he is a capital figure and has been named so by many sources and scholars, so I couldn’t just ignore him. In a sense we are skipping ahead in years a bit, just because I wanted to tackle this particular filmmaker first. Why? Because we named him in the last week’s installment of the series, on the great actor/director Paul Wegener, and since we were on some sort of ‘german expressionism or not’ conundrum, I guessed that it was better to get this over with, even though he practically doesn’t make the full criteria (at least 4 horror films directed, with at least 3 watchable in some form, and at least Galeen has that last one checked). But hey, let’s just count ‘Nosferatu’ (1922) and the rest of the Golem features (in which he worked as a screenwriter as well) and call it a day, shall we? He surely had a vision of what horror looked like and how it must feel to the audience, let’s give him the credit he deserves, let’s see some of his films! (more…)

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