Cinema Versus Dr. Caligari: Authority Gone Mad

Fair warning, I will be spoiling Robert Weine’s 1920 German Expressionist classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI in this blog entry. The film is nearly 100 years old, and you probably already know the story. If you HAVEN’T seen it though, then go do that. Right now. It’s on Netflix. Anyway, enjoy!

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You knew I was going to be talking about this movie eventually. It’s in my banner for godsake!

Safety is an important thing for people. We all like the security of knowing that, as we go about our daily lives, we have nothing to be afraid of. We, as a people, have conquered the beasts and monsters that may have threatened our great, great ancestors, though we may still tell tales of dragons and trolls and goblins. We never really faced these things, but it is safe to say that there are creatures out in nature that could threaten us. That is why we have doors on our houses. The things that go bump int he night are not meant to open our doors,  just as our locks are not meant to be picked. We needn’t fear intruders, because that is what society tells us. Society has rules that keep us safe. A code of conduct that everyone obeys. Heck, even vampires have to be invited in.

But what about when all that breaks down? When someone breaks the rules? When someone tears down the veil that society has created for us to invoke terror? What happens when the person doing this is someone we thought we could trust?

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