God Rock Radio #269 – Silent Horror Cinema- Europe in The 1920’s

In the 1920s Weimar Republic Berlin was the cultural center of Europe and a type of golden age of cinema takes place between 1919-1930 . With many German films of the fantastic and uncanny becoming part of the world cinema cannon – Dr. Caligari , The Golem, Destiny , Nosferatu & Waxworks – etc. etc. etc – enter movie mythology and live on , recycled in parody and pastiche. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia , a noted film historian and lover of genre movies examines Expressionism , the artistic style of self conscious stylization in art design , acting and lighting with fantasy and/or nightmare visions as evidence of inner torment that would dominate bot only Europe but travel across the Atlantic to Hollywood and filled the screens of American theaters as well. Jack plays ringmaster to a cinematic parade of tyrants, madmen, somnambulists, crazed scientists and beautiful but predatory females as he chronicles the evolution of the Silent Horror film in Europe during the roaring twenties and the amazing writers , actors, technicians and film makers who brought these timeless images to life. People like – Conrad Veidt – whose acting style made him an international fright film star and whose portrayals of dark characters reached far beyond the scope of the usual villain cliches . Veidt would work with many of the best known directors of the time. F.W. Murnau – a gifted artist who as a film director had a unique sense of the supernatural and utilized an unbound , moving camera, art design and the idea that cinematic art could reveal a divine and sometimes disturbing truth.  Benjamin Christensen – a danish film maker who not only used remarkable lighting but understood the entire language of film the sophisticated effects he coaxed from the shadows and chiaroscuro, and his remarkable editing seemed at times to be almost other worldly or supernatural just to name a few… Jack also takes an indepth look at forgotten gems, obscurities and important lost films- from Sweden, Italy, France and England during the time of Silent Cinemas maturity (The 1920’s).      

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