1920 German expressionist part-movie

Rating: no rating

Plot: A woman escapes from a painting and then, with her hypnotic appeal, persuades admirers to murder.

I saw an abridged version of this movie. Unfortunately, the only way I'd be able to see the whole thing is to travel to Germany and catch it at the Munich City Film Museum. I don't want to put the time on here because I don't want anybody to say, "Wait a second, Shane! That doesn't count! You owe us another silent movie!"

This has a couple different subtitles, but I chose to leave them both off. Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire doesn't make sense to me because the character doesn't seem like a vampire. Genuine: The Tragedy of a Strange House might make less sense because the house, at least in this abridged version, doesn't seem all that important.

I wanted to watch something by Robert Wiene. All I've seen are The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (a film that may be responsible for shaping my love of silent movies even more than Chaplin) and The Hands of Orlac. I suppose I could have found one that was complete, but reading about the visual appeal of this, I was intrigued. Indeed, the sets are pretty amazing. For example, here's somebody's bedroom:

Maybe it is a "strange house" after all. I'm probably going to try to talk Jennifer into letting me have a go at redecorating our bedroom so that it looks like that, but I doubt she'll go for it. I also liked the look of this barbershop:

I get my hair cut at a chain called Adequate Cuts, a shop specializing in "cuts for funny-looking boys," and I've not seen any of them with a skeleton. A lot of this condensed version of Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire House features shots of a bald man being taken care of at this shop. I wondered if that was some sort of joke.

The acting is nice and over-the-top, just as you'd expect from a German movie from 1920. The characters contort like they're being stabbed by invisible assassins, but for me, that ostentatiousness adds to the dreamlike nature of the whole thing. Most of the characters in my dreams overact anyway. The entire film is dreamlike, mostly aided by the fact that it doesn't make much sense at all. You'd probably guess that's because it's abridged, but apparently its incoherence was an issue with critics in 1920 as the reception for this follow-up to Caligari was less than warm.

I don't even think The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is on my blog. I saw it and Nosferatu back-to-back when I was in college and then again after I bought a copy. I don't think I've seen it in over a decade though. I probably need to check out more from Wiene's filmography.

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