persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I just found a copy of THE CABINET OF CALIGARI, the really bad restructuring of the silent film. What makes this much more awful is that it was scripted by Robert Bloch, borrowing heavily from the plot structure of PSYCHO. This was "released" in 1962, and promptly ignored and shelved and rarely shown on the tube.

Some woman is driving her car in the opening shots. It is a convertible. Somewhere along the way, the car breaks down. She wanders off and looks for help. She does not bother to lock up the car and put the top up. I thought, "this woman is stupid."

And it continues in this manner. She wanders (and it looks like for hours and hours) to this large manse and goes in and never has anyone go out and help her with her car. She gets a room and a place to stay and all thoughts about where she was going and who she is are shelved.

It doesn't look as if she's being held prisoner, so her staying there makes no sense. The house is filled with other pointless, clueless guests. A mind game is being played, and one of the other "people" is also the "Caligari" guy and he tries to manipulate the situation(s) and people for whatever reasons that are never explained. properly.

Film has really nice "retro" fifties looking jazz art direction.

Film also has one horrid child star in a role that is hard to watch.The kid is related to the director.

There are these little weird touches, people seem to be furious with one another, argue, strain, move quickly, slam themselves down onto a bed and never once does the hair on their heads ever gets mussed up.


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