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Waking Dreams: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu And Weimar Essay

  • Submitted by: itsdefaz
  • on December 5, 2011
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 3,168 words

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Below is an essay on "Waking Dreams: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu And Weimar" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Friedrich W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) is a seminal work of its kind. As a silent film,
the fantasy travels beyond the theatrical backdrops of Melies’ Trip to the Moon to on-site
locations in Bavaria. As a vampire movie, it is one of the earliest of its genre. As an example of
German Expressionist cinema, trick editing supercedes the distorted mise-en-scene of its
predecessors. Because Nosferatu is so expansive, scholars typically focus on only one or two
aspects of the film, thus neglecting to discuss how discreet elements of style and narrative might
work holistically. For example, Tony Magistrale in his book Abject Terrors, adheres to the
psychological methodology first posited by Siegfried Kracauer.2 Magistrale does not subscribe
entirely to Kracauer’s position that the vampire portends the rise of the Nazi party, yet his own
conclusion, that Nosferatu reflects post-war anxiety, is based more on the film’s narrative
content than style. On the other side of the spectrum is Lotte Eisner’s The Haunted Screen,
which touts Nosferatu as a formal masterpiece of Expressionist cinema, yet continually
foregrounds Murnau’s naturalism and places it in direct contrast to the more obvious films of his
contemporaries (i.e. Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Fritz Lang’s
Metropolis (1926)). While Eisner is correct to point out the opposition between naturalism and
Expressionism, her analysis fails to explain the nuances of this dichotomy. It is the purpose of
1
100 Hayes Hall, 108 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210. I would like to thank Dr. Ron Green of the History
of Art Department, as well as Dr. Davidson of the Film Studies Department, for their helpful comments on this
project. I would also like to extend my warmest gratitude to Michael Becroft of the Cleveland Museum of Art for
his insightful commentary and support throughout the creation of this paper.
2
Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the...

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"Waking Dreams: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu And Weimar". Anti Essays. 9 Dec. 2018

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APA Citation

Waking Dreams: F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu And Weimar. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 9, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://cassandralynndesignllc.com/free-essays/Waking-Dreams-F-w-Murnau-s-Nosferatu-And-140105.html