Kammerspielfilm a type of German film that offers an intimate, cinematic portrait of lower middle class life. The name derives from a theater, the Kammerspiele, opened in 1906 by a major stage director Max Reinhardt to stage intimate dramas for small audiences. Few Kammerspiel films were made, but nearly all are classics. Kammerspielfilme (the plural form) formed a German film movement of the 1920s silent film period that was developed around the same time as the more commonly known German Expressionism movement in cinema. The Kammerspielfilm was known as the “chamber drama” as a result of the influence from the theatrical form of the chamber play. The style of Kammerspielfilm was a slight shift from German Expressionism, with its lack of inter-titles, shift from fantasy and realist settings, its focus on character psychology and its lack of intricate set design. It also brought upon narration, use of camera movement and subjectivity which shifted between objective and subjective points of view. Prominent figures of the Kammerspielfilm movement include Lupu Pick, F.W. Murnau, Carl Mayer and G.W. Pabst.
“One day you are preeminent, respected by all…a minister, a general, maybe even a prince. But, what will you be tomorrow?!” In the opening shot of F.W. Murnau’s silent classic The Last Laugh the film camera excitingly swoops into a fancy and luxurious hotel as you witness a elderly doorman who feels proud of his respected […]
Louise Brooks has the type of face that radiates the movie screen, as her luscious eyes tempt and seduce audiences to come join and play with her. Pauline Kael writes, “Her beauty was almost impersonal, she carries it like a gift she doesn’t think much about, and confronts us as a naughty girl. When you meet someone like this […]
It is a bleak and hopeless period set in a cold and Danish village in 1623 when people without question still believed in the existence of witches and went about on thousands of merciless witch hunts to catch and then burn innocent people at the stake. Many of these villagers would conjure up any fantasy about a friend, […]
In a film medium without words, where the artists believed that the essence of a character was what the camera lens captured through their face, to gaze into the eyes of Renee Maria Falconetti, you feel as if she is allowing you to delve into the deep dark depths of her soul. In Carl Dreyer’s silent […]
Ordet, which means ‘The Word’ in English, is not only one of the greatest films ever made, but one of the most spiritual films I have ever witnessed. It was directed by the legendary Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer, who is considered one of the great masters in the art form of the cinema, and like […]
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