Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#1 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:51 pm

Image

AUTEUR LIST: FRITZ LANG
July 02 - September 04


Grab your monocles, folks, it’s time for our third auteur-based list! Be they German silents or Hollywood crime melodramas, Fritz Lang left an unquestionable mark on cinema, and we’ll be examining his legacy during this list. Individual lists should reflect your own personal preference— the goal is not to be cunning, but honest. If Metropolis is your favorite, don’t vote for Clash by Night ahead of it just to skew the results for a film less likely to chart as high, unless of course you consider Clash by Night a better film! Ideally participation will be high for this list, so it’d be best if the results truly represented a survey of personal tastes and not iconoclastic pot-stirring.

Members are encouraged to weigh in on any and all of Lang’s works during this project’s run, and take this opportunity to revisit as many of Lang’s films as you can. We are fortunate that so many of his works survive in excellent Blu-ray and DVD editions, with copious supplemental material, so let’s all take advantage of our collective good fortune and really have a lively look back at one of cinema’s unquestionable greats. And remember to share your insights with the rest of the board, and engage with the thoughts and takes of others.

RULES
The minimum and standard number of submitted feature films for each participating member is 10, in ranked order (With number one being the best and so on down the line). Only those films listed below are eligible for voting. The final list will comprise of a Top 20, with supplemental recordings of also-rans and orphans, as in other list projects.

NOTE: All of Lang’s two-part films count as one film / one vote. These are noted in the filmography below. For the sake of this list, the three Mabuse films are separate works.

Lists should be PMed to me, domino harvey, no later than September 4th. Everyone who can read this post is eligible to participate in this list and cast a ballot.


FILMOGRAPHY

Halbblut / Half-Cast (1919) Lost

Der Herr der Liebe / Master of Love (1919) Lost

Die Spinnen, 1. Teil: Der Goldene See / the Spiders, Part 1: the Golden Lake (1919) + Die Spinnen, 2. Teil: Das Brillantenschiff / the Spiders, Part 2: the Diamond Ship (1920) R1/A Kino ONE FILM / ONE VOTE

Harakiri (1919) R1 Kino

Das Wandernde Bild / the Wandering Image (1920) R1 Kino

Vier um die Frau / Four Around a Woman (1921) R1 Kino

Der Mude Tod / Destiny (1921) R1/A Kino / R2/B Masters of Cinema

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler: Ein Bild der Zeit / Dr. Mabuse: the Gambler (1922) R1/A Kino / R2/B Masters of Cinema

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried + Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924) R1/A Kino / R2/B Masters of Cinema ONE FILM / ONE VOTE

Metropolis (1927) R1/A Kino / R2/B Masters of Cinema

Spione / Spies (1928) R1/A Kino / R0/B Masters of Cinema

Frau im Mond / Woman in the Moon (1929) R1/A Kino / R2/B Masters of Cinema

M (1931) R1/A Criterion

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse / the Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) R1/A Criterion / R2/B Masters of Cinema

Liliom (1934) R1 Fox (Bonus film on Carousel: 50th Anniversary Edition)

Fury (1936) R1 Warners

You Only Live Once (1937) RA Classic Flix

You and Me (1938) R1 TCM (Initially pressed in Dark Crimes Vol 2, now MOD)

the Return of Frank James (1940) R1 Fox / RB Koch

Western Union (1941) R1/A Kino Lorber

Man Hunt (1941) RA Twilight Time (OOP) / R1 Fox / RB Signal One

Hangmen Also Die! (1943) R1/A Cohen Media / R2/B Arrow

Ministry of Fear (1944) R1/A Criterion

the Woman in the Window (1944) R1 MGM

Scarlet Street (1945) PD / R1/A Kino

Cloak and Dagger (1946) R1/A Olive

Secret Beyond the Door (1948) R1/A Olive

House by the River (1950) R1 Kino

American Guerilla in the Philippines (1950) R1 Fox MOD

Rancho Notorious (1952) R1 Warner Archives MOD / R2 Optimum

Clash by Night (1952) R1 Warners

the Blue Gardenia (1953) R1 Image

the Big Heat (1953) RA Twilight Time / RABC Indicator

Human Desire (1954) R1 Sony Film Noir Classics Vol 2 (Initially pressed, now MOD)

Moonfleet (1955) R1 Warner Archives MOD

While the City Sleeps (1956) R1 Warner Archives MOD

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) R1 Warner Archives MOD

Der Tiger von Eschnapur / the Tiger of Eschnapur + Das Indische Grabmal / the Indian Tomb (1959) R1 Fantomas (OOP) / R2 Masters of Cinema ONE FILM / ONE VOTE

Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse / the Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse (1960) R1 All-Day Entertainment (OOP) / R2 Masters of Cinema


Additional compiling help by Rayon Vert

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#2 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:53 pm

And here we go! Thought really hard about this and decided to allow a sliding scale of 15 films on the ballot, even though with 39 total eligible films, that seems a bit silly. I strongly encourage submitters to err closer to ten than fifteen, if possible. The Bunuel list will be a straight Top 10, FYI, for those planning ahead.

My number one will of course be the Blue Gardenia. I don't even need to think about it. I don't understand why most of the world doesn't recognize this brilliance of this one, but I'll be here to defend and engage all who revisit or see it for the first time, and hopefully you will all see the light.

EDIT: This has now changed to ten films (see below for clarification)

User avatar
Rayon Vert
Green is the Rayest Color
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:52 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#3 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:00 pm

Hangmen Also Die! is also out on Arrow (dual format).

I'll be revisiting The Blue Gardenia, so yes perhaps I'll see the light! [-o<

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#4 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:10 pm

domino harvey wrote:And here we go! Thought really hard about this and decided to allow a sliding scale of 15 films on the ballot, even though with 39 total eligible films, that seems a bit silly. I strongly encourage submitters to err closer to ten than fifteen, if possible. The Bunuel list will be a straight Top 10, FYI, for those planning ahead.
This is what happens when I don't make these threads early. I forgot the first two films were lost. Sorry folks, I was already on the fence, but I'm making this a straight Top 10 for submissions. The first post has been amended.

User avatar
Rayon Vert
Green is the Rayest Color
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:52 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#5 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:56 pm

Btw, I really got a lot out of Tom Gunning's The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity, if one is seeking to really delve heavily into Lang's oeuvre and appreciate facets that might otherwise pass you by. It covers in depth 19 of the films here and is excellent on a film like Scarlet Street, for example. However it's a somewhat demanding and long book (480 pages before the notes).

The Lang biography by McGilligan doesn't analyze the films much but it's still quite informative on the contexts of their making and an entertaining read.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#6 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:01 pm

Thanks for the recs. And if you read French, there's of course Luc Moullet's early book on the director, perhaps best known for showing up in Contempt:

Image

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#7 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:22 pm

On that note, there's also Lotte Eisner's 1986 book on Fritz Lang, which I'm familiar with because I was doing some work experience for an afternoon a week in the audiovisual library at the BBC's now demolished Oxford Road studios in Manchester whilst studying and since they were having a clear out of their library at the time I was allowed to keep their copy of the book in lieu of any actual salary!

In terms of Lang's US period, I'm going to try and revisit While The City Sleeps at some point, as that's a sort of newspaper-world take on the hunt for a serial killer. Its up there with the great newspaper films like His Girl Friday and, dare I say it, Citizen Kane. And also makes that world seem more ruthless and cutthroat in their pursuit of their victim than that of the killer!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#8 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:38 pm

I agree that While the City Sleeps is one of his great lesser known works- all the more remarkable given what garbage Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is. I'm going to do my best actually to polish off Lang's extant filmography- I think the only one I don't own is House by the River (I've been hoping for a better release), and I think it's only maybe 15 movies I still need to watch, so I really have no excuse. I'm a bit worried that I've already seen most of the classics, though.

Also, this probably goes without saying, but Lotte Eisner's Lang book is highly film focused and absolutely invaluable- if only for such beautiful slams as describing George Raft's weakness in You and Me as being evident based on his 'vacant gigolo eyes.'

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#9 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:43 pm

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is indeed hot garbage, with an ending that even Monogram would have rejected as absurd. Thank God Lang pulled it together with his last couple of films, though outside of Cahiers circles I'm not sure many would consider he did (though they liked Beyond too, so that means nothing). Of course, the Return of Frank James is in my top five, so what do I know?

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#10 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:06 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:Also, this probably goes without saying, but Lotte Eisner's Lang book is highly film focused and absolutely invaluable- if only for such beautiful slams as describing George Raft's weakness in You and Me as being evident based on his 'vacant gigolo eyes.'
Lotte Eisner on You and Me wrote:...but the idyllic relationship lacks the intensity of You Only Live Once, because there are finally no tragic undertones; and perhaps because George Raft, with a vapid, gigolo face, cannot believably arouse sufficient interest from Sylvia Sidney.
I'm leafing through it right now, and its full of film stills, behind the scenes shots of the camera filming a scene (a couple from The Blue Gardenia domino, of the shooting of "the birthday table scene" and "the smashing of the mirror"!), on location photos from Western Union, an on set picture of the diorama for Moonfleet or the set designers working on the city from Metroplois, a storyboard for a scene from Clash By Night etc. Plus Lang getting an on set shave!

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#11 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:14 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
matrixschmatrix wrote:Also, this probably goes without saying, but Lotte Eisner's Lang book is highly film focused and absolutely invaluable- if only for such beautiful slams as describing George Raft's weakness in You and Me as being evident based on his 'vacant gigolo eyes.'
Lotte Eisner on You and Me wrote:...but the idyllic relationship lacks the intensity of You Only Live Once, because there are finally no tragic undertones; and perhaps because George Raft, with a vapid, gigolo face, cannot believably arouse sufficient interest from Sylvia Sidney.
Ha, I knew I shouldn't try to pull that line from memory. It's a gorgeous line, though, and a perfectly fair criticism of the movie- which isn't all bad, but the parts that are good (the song, the almost song created from found noises and chanting when the criminals have a reunion, and Sidney
SpoilerShow
proving that crime doesn't pay with arithmetic, in a manner HIGHLY reminiscent of Threepenny's advice that crooks should go into banking and do their robberies wholesale
have nothing to do with Raft, a gaping hole throughout.
domino harvey wrote:Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is indeed hot garbage, with an ending that even Monogram would have rejected as absurd. Thank God Lang pulled it together with his last couple of films, though outside of Cahiers circles I'm not sure many would consider he did (though they liked Beyond too, so that means nothing). Of course, the Return of Frank James is in my top five, so what do I know?
I think The Indian Tomb is... interesting, though more in terms of Lang's career than in of itself- but I adore The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, which I think holds up with the other two (and Testament is my likely number one for the list.) I need to rewatch The Blue Gardenia, which I remember liking, but it blends in with a lot of the similarly titled noirs of the era- if I recall correctly, it feels somewhere between Laura and one of the foggier psychological noirs like Secret Beyond the Door, but it didn't seem like it had the particular Langian intensity that draws me to his best work.

Speaking of Langian intensity, I can say pretty easily what my number one among his American work is likely to be:

Image
Last edited by matrixschmatrix on Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:16 pm

That pic isn't showing up, and the URL is the length of Tristram Shandy

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#13 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:28 pm

Bizarre, I had double checked to make sure it worked on my pc before posting. Oh well, should be good now.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#14 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:56 pm

You have to look at Blue Gardenia as the compliment to Preminger's Whirlpool. That film was about the Hell of Domestic Life for women, Lang's is about the Hell of Single Life for women. Both hide powerful critiques of oppressive structures within a somewhat silly narrative, which I believe has caused them to be dismissed by those not looking deep enough at what the films are really saying beneath the surface (or by those, consciously or not, who don't want to acknowledge these critiques)

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#15 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:10 am

Moonfleet

Lang's adventure movies (at least the late period ones- Lang seems to be a fairly different filmmaker in the early stuff, like The Spiders) like his Westerns, generally just kind of slide off for me- it always the feels hard to believe that anyone's really invested in them, though from what I understand that's not actually true. They're consistently pretty good, and almost always have some bright spots, but I have yet to see any that really bring what I love about Lang to bear- his sense of fallen people resisting an evil world, of dark things done behind closed doors, of paranoia and grandeur obsession.

It's not that the pieces aren't there; here, Lang is adapting a classic children's story, but he (or the screenwriter, at least) but has created a new character, Jeremy Fox, a figure of a scoundrel gentleman, a rogue in a hard world, saddled with a conscience in the form of a child. The whole thing keeps sliding into a sort of a Treasure Island territory of Boy's Own Adventureness, though, and only rarely does it have the sort of wit and sophistication, and toughness of outlook, that distinguishes Lang- most notably in two further invented figures, an utterly amoral couple played beautifully by Joan Greenwood and George Sanders, who are blase about child murder, smuggling, adultery, and more or less everything else, in a way that is strangely appealing (due largely to the absolutely perfect actors)- every scene with them is a delight.

Outside of them, though, it's hard to see anything to get excited about; there's some nice business about the horrors the boy's mother's aristocratic family put him to, but Granger never really feels demon-driven the way that Spencer Tracey does in Fury, coming off mostly as sort of an odd dandy version of Jimmy Stewart (but not the Jimmy Stewart of Anthony Mann's movies.) I feel stupid criticizing a family movie adventure story for having an adventure story plot, with hidden diamonds and disguises and daring escapes and so forth, and honestly it is pretty fun, but it's hard to see it as adding up to anything remarkable. It doesn't help that the boy playing the lead is kind of a cipher; I don't know if it's him as an actor or Lang as a director (it's hard to imagine Lang as being especially sensitive to children's performances) but he generally gives the affect of acting by reading the words in the order in which they're written. Which, again, is fine, as the only emotion he's ever asked to play is blind trust in Fox.

I'd probably feel less compelled to search for something remarkable here if it weren't for Cahiers, but as Dom mentioned, they liked Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, too- this, unlike that one, is at least pretty good, and I'm happy to have seen it. Just not anything that will be elbowing for room in the top ten.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#16 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:57 am

Because I was curious, I looked up Moonfleet’s ratings from the Conseil des dix

**** Jean Douchet
*** Jacques Doiniol-Valcroze, Fereydoun Hoveyda, Pierre Marcabru, Luc Moullet, Jacques Rivette
** Claude Mauriac
* Jean de Baroncotti, Louis Marcorelles
… and Jean-Pierre Melville bulleted it (and only gave three stars to Breathless, also ranked the same month, which he appears in!)

It also ranked eighth overall for 1960’s films (the year of its French release) among Cahiers critics. Here are the critics/filmmakers who voted for it and their ranking:

Henri Agel (3), Claude Chabrol (tied for number one with Breathless and Psycho), Michel Delahaye (1), Philippe Demonsablon (8), Jacques Demy (tied for “third” with eight other films), Jean Domarchi (5), Jean Douchet (2), Jean-Luc Godard (list submitted alphabetically), Fereydoun Hoveyda (tied for fourth place with four other films), Pierre Kast (10), Luc Moullet (tied for second place with Les bonnes femmes), Eric Rohmer (tied for sixth place with Party Girl and Poem of the Sea)

EDIT: It was also the fifth favorite film of the 408 Cahiers readers who wrote into the journal to vote for their favorite films of the year

I pretty much share your take on the film, though, Matrix. It’s okay, but take Lang’s name off it and I find it hard to believe anyone cares about it. What difference is there really between Moonfleet and the Moon-Spinners? Funnily enough, I rewatched Histoire(s) du Cinema a few weeks ago and man, Godard quotes from the film a lot in it.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#17 Post by denti alligator » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:29 pm

I mean, Lang made a lot of great films, but I just can't place any one of them near M, which is something like perfection. I'll try to watch some of the American flix I haven't seen yet and participate.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#18 Post by knives » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:43 pm

M might not even make my list which I recognize is a form of insanity.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#19 Post by denti alligator » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:49 pm

knives wrote:M might not even make my list which I recognize is a form of insanity.
If you recognize it, it's not insanity :)

But really, I can see someone just not liking it. But it's perfect in so many ways: form, technique, acting, integration of thematics and form, lighting, sound. I never really tire of it.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#20 Post by knives » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:52 pm

Oh, I love it. It and the Mabuse pictures mean a lot to me from really jumpstarting my love of film, but Lang also made a lot of other great pictures and about ten I haven't seen which could turn out to be great.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#21 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:53 pm

I'd guess it or Metropolis will wind up being our overall number one, but I would also guess that neither are all that many individuals' actual number ones- they both run into that Beatles problem of like, it's harder (for me at least) to relate to a work that everyone knows just as well as I do- it's easier to be passionate about something that needs your support.

If you're just breaking the ice on Lang's American work, I'd suggest The Big Heat, Fury, You Only Live Once, and Scarlet Street as being his hands down classics from the period.

User avatar
denti alligator
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Location: "born in heaven, raised in hell"

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#22 Post by denti alligator » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:55 pm

See, Metropolis is for me one of the most overrated films of all time. M, on the hand, deserves its reputation.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#23 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:58 pm

Metropolis is beautiful and visionary and strange and lives in my head more richly than M does- it's much messier and flabbier, and whatever politics it intends to have are either bizarrely naive or outright horrible, but it's also one of the richest veins of images in any movie I can think of- though it is rivaled in that respect by Testament, which is this unholy fusion of Lang's procedural noir and expressionist ghost tendencies that really shouldn't work but (for me) does, spectacularly.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#24 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:03 pm

M isn't making my list-- Losey's remake is superior

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Auteur List: Fritz Lang - Discussion and Defenses

#25 Post by knives » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:13 pm

Now there's Dom with the risky opinion. I feel like the replacement for Lorre is such a downgrade of performance that the remake doesn't work for me personally and I say that as someone who voted for The Go-Between last list.
matrixschmatrix wrote:I'd guess it or Metropolis will wind up being our overall number one, but I would also guess that neither are all that many individuals' actual number ones- they both run into that Beatles problem of like, it's harder (for me at least) to relate to a work that everyone knows just as well as I do- it's easier to be passionate about something that needs your support.

If you're just breaking the ice on Lang's American work, I'd suggest The Big Heat, Fury, You Only Live Once, and Scarlet Street as being his hands down classics from the period.
I think his other Renoir remake, Human Desire, is also pretty great for beginners as he sticks to the original's script quite well while adapting it to an American setting in just about the most naturalistic way possible. It doesn't hurt that there are a lot of ace character actors here at their best.
matrixschmatrix wrote:Metropolis is beautiful and visionary and strange and lives in my head more richly than M does- it's much messier and flabbier, and whatever politics it intends to have are either bizarrely naive or outright horrible, but it's also one of the richest veins of images in any movie I can think of- though it is rivaled in that respect by Testament, which is this unholy fusion of Lang's procedural noir and expressionist ghost tendencies that really shouldn't work but (for me) does, spectacularly.
On the shouldn't work scale I always find the conflict of Lang between stylization and realism to be one of his greatest benefits building a truly other world in a way like no one except maybe Lynch in film. For instance I just finished the first part to Die Nibelungen, is it just me or does the newest release have more scenes compared to the old one, and the thing that is most consistently interesting is how so much of the film is styled to be like a lot of the wackier German films of the era, but Lang shoots it in the way you would a domestic drama, a technique that probably gets maximum exposure in The Big Heat, making the setting seem ordinary. It's as if his brain were battling against his instincts which honestly could summarize many of his protagonists. He is very famously on the record of wanting a sort of absolute realism in his films and even taking a great deal of pride in writing the end The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari yet his films don't obviously show that instead having an instinct for what you fabulously call his expressionist ghost tendencies.

Post Reply