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Conrad Veidt - L'Expressionisme allemand

<>Slowly, a such spider on its fabric, the killer advances in a landscape. In 1920, “the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” inaugurates the cinema expressionnist. For the first time since the invention of the brothers Lumière, the screen refuses reality and becomes populated dreams. Nearly ninety years after work founder of Robert Wiene, the Cineclub celebrates this movement through an exhibition and a retrospective.
Art of the decorations and the light, the expressionnism invents a figure of the body. The spider is called Conrad Veidt. At twenty-seven years, it interprets the assassin hypnotized by the Caligari manipulator. The actor is made puppet, his body does not belong to him more: its uncontrolled arms sweep the air, its face carves compulsive grins. A such reason on a vase, its profile yields with the shape of the decoration: its twisted silhouette evokes the hooked trees, the broken lines of the imaginary city. After “Caligari”, Veidt continues its work expressionnist and schizophrene: Dr. Jeckyll in “the Head of Janus” (Murnau, 1920), pianist with whom one grafts hands of assassin in “the Hands of Orléac” (Wiene, 1922), he becomes “the man who laughs” in the adaptation of Hugo turned by Paul Léni in 1928.
The cinema expressionnist is exhausted when Fritz Lang injects an amount of realism with “Metropolis” (1926) and especially in “M the Cursed one” (1931). In the years 1930, the movement dies out definitively when more than 2.000 artists and technicians flee the Nazi Germany to form “Weimar of the Pacific” in Hollywood. Their art of the shades will be integrated into “black film”, their science of the decoration and of the make-up the “cinema of the fantastic will nourish”… As for Veidt, it will find in Hollywood only roles of officers Nazis. The most famous remainder that of “Casablanca” of Michael Curtiz (1942). With its death, on April 3, 1943, it had largely given up its tortured style of the years 1920. However, Veidt did not cease a réincarner by impregnating the set of various actors. Today, its plane shade at Tim Burton in “Edward with the money hands”, where Johnny Depp finds the mean profile of the sleepwalker of “Caligari”, and it is with the eyes of Orléac that it looks at the shears which hang at the end of its arms. In the same way, in “Batman”, Jack Nicholson borrows his smile grimaçant from “the man who laughs”. Thus, by bequeathing its body to Caligari, Conrad Veidt offered to all the cinema. For general public, its name was erased but its art and the heritage expressionnist contaminated the screens forever.
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