The Aesthetics And The Influence Of German Cinema in The Fantastic Cinema and Mexican Horror Of The 1930's

María Dolores Cabrera

Abstract

This article focuses on the description and analysis of the aesthetic of German films of the twenties and their subsequent influence in the first Mexican fantastic and horror films of the thirties. To this purpose, I focus on the strong influence of the film Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari by Robert Wiene (1920) on the horror genre and the topics and filmic adaptations that German and Mexican filmmakers subsequently addressed and developed. A special issue of this article is the study of the inclusion of expressionistic features in both German and Mexican film, among other artistic influences, through the use of lighting, set design, and filmic montage. In addition to the exploration of aesthetic elements, I analyze those that are linked to horror and fantasy in each film as a result of literary and filmic influences and how the migration of German filmmakers, film technicians and artists to the United States was an important aspect which specifically contributed to the establishment of horror and fantasy in film in the United States and later in Mexico. This overview will serve to reveal how the first Mexican horror and fantasy films were a result of foreign influences —especially German influences—, but also of Mexico’s own filmic exploration in the thirties, a decade before of the Golden age of Mexican cinema.

 

 

Keywords

horror; fantasy; German cinema; Mexican cinema; Expressionism

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References

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