AND CHILL #1 -
28th March, 2020
Still from La Jetée (1962)
Still self-isolating? You should be. Every week we’ll be listing several creative and innovative moving image works to keep you inspired and entertained during Quarantine and Chill. Here are the first three:
1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), dir. Robert Wiene
The film focuses on a student in a small German town, whose friend falls victim to a mass-murderer, who kills under the control of fairground entertainer and hypnotist, Caligari.
Dr. Caligari’s visual style is iconic. It breaks away from reality to create a world of angular contortion filled with chiaroscuro and jagged edges. The studio made set design was hugely influential and innovative.
Expressionism was often used to express the discontent and depression of postwar society by artists, particularly in Germany, and was very popular at the time in which Caligari was made. It was certainly not the first film to utilise Expressionist leanings, but was the first to use it in such a wholly immersive fashion.
2. Dogville (2003), dir. Lars von Trier
‘Dogville’ tells the story of a woman in hiding, who arrives in Dogville, Colorado. The townspeople provide her with refuge in return for physical labor.
‘Dogville’ features a barren soundstage styled into a Depression-era town with its streets marked out in chalk. The opening of doors are mimed, and the sound effects overdubbed. It’s a creative take on cinema, and one that blurs the lines between theatre and cinema.
‘Dogville’ belongs to Dogme 95 (1995 - 2005), a strict filmmaking movement started by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. Its manifesto emphasises story and acting. It was an attempt to take back power, for the director as an artist, from the studios.
3. La Jetée (1962), dir. Chris Marker
The film focuses on the after effects of World War III, zoning in on past, present and future. It follows the life of a slave who travels through time to find a solution to the world’s destiny.
Director, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, videographer and digital multimedia artist Chris Marker has been challenging viewers and philosophers for years with his queries about time, memory and the advancement of life on Earth.
‘La Jetée’ is one of the most influential science-fiction films ever made, and told completely in perfectly composed black and white still images.