I was never a film connoisseur but the scene in The Artist where Valentin lifted blankets in Peppy ‘s mansion and was shocked to learn it was Peppy who purchased his auctioned effects has left a deep impression in me. Against the backdrop of a flood of light from the door, Valentin cast a long shadow on every objects he found, in his horror, to have belonged to him, including his self – portrait and the three wise monkeys clock. This use of light, shadow and familiar objects, I later found out, is known as German Expressionism.
Nosferatu is a classic German Expressionist movie directed by F.W. Murnau in 1922. The film is created when the new Weimar Republic just survived the Kapp Putsch in 1920 that paralyzed Berlin and was waiting to see Hitler’s Munich Putsch in 1923. In this politically unstable period, conspiracies were rampant. It was no surprise that many horror films like Faust or Dr. Mabuse at the time featured an evil conspirator who contrived for domination.