German Expressionism and Weimer Film and Culture
German Expressionism refers to an art movement that started in Germany during in the 1900s. In terms of worldly events, the art movement started during the beginning of the First World War. The expressionism movement was influenced by some artists like Van Gogh whose paintings like the Starry Night and the Wheatfield With Crows are some of the paintings that played a role. The expressionism style involved the transformation and abstraction of the reality from what we know it. The style uses such methods as photography, lighting, theatrical acting styles and element integration among. In photography, the style used little camera movement and unexpected angles of the camera for its purposes. In lighting, contrasts of shadow and light were made in order to bring various effects. In theatrical acting, these actors developed some sinuous and jerky patterns in order to bring some effects. The main aim of these expressionist techniques was to bring out the fundamental nature of a situation or an object’s state of being and to evoke some effects such as dreams, hallucination, destabilization and disharmony among many other styles. Because of the nature of the expressionist movement in terms of influence, a discussion of its influence in the area of film, artwork and theatre helps in understanding the art movement.
A History of the Expressionist Movement
Expressionism art movement began at the beginning of 20th century when many artists were interested at conveying their emotions through art. The beliefs of the Expressionism were based on the overall belief that art ought to change the society into a more conservative society. This is suggested in the name Expressionism since it is based on the belief that artists’ inner emotions need to be expressed. As explained in the introduction, the aim of this movement was to provoke emotion and feeling, which would challenge the traditional way that the world was viewed. Edward van Gogh, who as seen earlier, influenced this movement especially through the use of exaggerated brush strokes and vivid colors. These were used by the artist to bring the sense of movement and energy in his art works.
Two groups of German artists are responsible for the birth and the establishment of the Expressionism. These include the Bridge Group, also known as the bridge and the Der Blaue Reiter, also known as the Blue Rider group. The former is known to have started in Dresden in 1905. The group was made of some architect students who were students in a technical college in the same city where expressionism began. The student came up with the idea after seeing themselves as catalysts who would overthrow the already established art and life order. The artists were print makers and painters and exhibited their artworks collectively. Their artwork was considered as both bold and involved jarring wood cuts that produced reductive paintings. In their part, the artists were influenced by the Gothic art. They were also influenced by the ethnographic objects derived from South Pacific and Africa in order to develop primitive art. They explored landscape, human form and other popular entertainment when developing their work. As the years progressed, Berlin became the abode of the avant-garde Expressionist movement and being the largest city in Germany at this time it was a big influence. At this time, the Expressionist recognized the fact that the urban lifestyle was alienating and at the same time dehumanizing. Because of this, they celebrated the fact that the city provided them with a glamorous exciting place because of the night life attractions presented.
The second group, which as seen earlier, is known as the Blue Rider started in 1911 in Munich, Germany. The group continued until the beginning of the First World War, which started in 1914. The group, unlike their former counterparts was loosely associated instead of being tightly knitted in terms with agreements with their founders and the aesthetic ideas of their founders. The main aim of this group, unlike the other one was to counteract the materialism and corruption present in their generation, which was done through the use of bright colors and forms. They felt that these elements contained spiritual values. This is why the group’s name had the word horse and rider in it. This was a major theme as it focused more on symbols of animal in terms of rebirth. The ideas of the group have often been explained as some of the reasons that led to the Expressionists belief and use of Christian motifs and symbols. This is also the reason why some of them sought to understand the mystical and the spiritual terms related to the Christian themes. It is also the reason why Expressionism came to be intertwined with religion. The movement continued to the 1920 and there was a move towards some interests in German’s politics and society. This was expressed through such things as caricatures of prostitutes, industrialists, profiteers and generals. This helped in expressing their feelings towards such things as greed for power and money, which was one of the reasons behind the First World War and was also the cause of poverty and oppression.
Expressionism and Weimer Film and Culture
As seen earlier, Expressionism believed in the conveying of information through art. Weimer Film and Culture was largely based on this belief and is known to have emerged after the First World War. Cinema in this era therefore led to the representation of German’s inner thoughts and fears. The feelings of empathy especially on the middle class were evoked through troubled yearning, psychology and mood. Abstract sets, exaggerated acting and chiaroscuro lighting were used as part of Expressionism to show the genuine despair felt by Germans during this period. Authority, which was the result of these problems, was represented by Weimer films as being problematic or lacking in different ways. In the book, From Caligari to Weimer, the author connects the dots of Weimer Cinema and culture with their reflection of the German people. The author argues that films are important as they help us in understanding the hidden mental processes while arguing in relation to the films in this era.
Expressionism and the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
One of the Weimer Cinema films that depict the beliefs of Expressionism is The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. In relation to this film, German Expressionist examined the unconscious forces and their ability to motivate people towards a good and an evil mind. The film director used a combination of techniques in order to persuade and enlighten the audience about the subconscious power. The director wanted his viewers to see the vagueness of the human mind, which in most cases, is harder to predict or understand in a clear manner. This is why the film uses some elements that show psychological terror, dual identity and control of the mind.
The most exceptional element used in this film is the element of visualization, which the director utilizes through the narrative and the visual elements of the film. These elements not only showcase the ideas and the beliefs of expressionism, but are also used to drive the theme in the mind of the audience when watching the film. In fact, one of the things that the audience notices is the artistic elements of the film, which are very impressive and outstanding since they can still be considered relevant in today’s films.
One of the characters in the film, for example, stuns the audience because of the distortions displayed. The setting of the film also evokes the necessary feelings as the setting is in a rural town. Arts and painting help in presenting this setting with things such as the landscape, walls and roads showing the elements of this town. The director uses these elements goes against the other directors’ tactics of capturing reality by using these painting settings and distorting the styles of some of the elements presented. For example, building, which in reality should be upright and symmetrical are presented as constructed in a strange slanting method. This shows disharmony in the artistic composition of the shapes and structures used in the setting. Through this simple setting, the director leads the audience into understanding the human mind and its uncertainty as one of the themes of this film. Other scenic properties such as mirrors, chairs, windows and doorways are also created in an asymmetrical way.
Other things such as chairs and tables are also presented in unusual ways especially those used by the town clerks and the civil officers as they are elongated. This is also the case with the stairways that the characters use in the film. The elements of light have also used and also depicts Expressionism style since painting projects light. Painting has been done not only on the walls, but also on the floor. The color used in this case is of high colored tone. This helps in differentiating the normal light from heightened or accentuated one. The highlighted position is used for the main characters in order to allow viewers to put their focus on the position of this character. As explained earlier, the role of light and its tone is to help in reflecting men’s inner minds as those full of vagueness. There is also a sharp contrast between this light and the shadows formed. In one of the scenes, the protagonist is screened using these enhanced shadows. This brings out their inner mind and their malicious identity, which in most cases is hidden from the naked eyes.
Apart from the artistic elements of light, the film’s director also uses the narrative elements and tells the story of the protagonist to the viewers in a good and understandable way. The director, however, uses other elements in combination with the existing elements to aid the narrative part of the film. For example, the numerous flashbacks helps in telling the story of the mad person and his cruel actions in the small town where the story is set. Through this ability, the film’s director catches the attention of viewers. This is also enabled by the ability to tell the story using a mad man’s point of view as some of the characters used are mentally disabled. For example, one of the characters is a girl and in her state, she tells the story and helps viewers in understanding the plot and the theme. The film also uses the exaggerated style, which is one of the identified characteristic of Expressionism. Although the film is weird together with the story being told, the film’s director makes sure that the audience follows the story.
All these elements are depicted in Expressionism since it put some focus on the biased nature of visual experience and also focused on the emotional response and the privileged intuition. Other features of this art movement are that concentrated on rationality and reason. The modern concept that allows artists to explore art language was also used by Expressionism, which is what led to the image or visual distortion of images as an artistic practice. The violent and forceful images were also used in the depiction of chaos in expressionism.
Apart from the depiction of these expressionism elements in the windows, staircases and the shadows, the same are seen in the film’s natural world. A view of it shows that it looks like it is against the inhabitants. The trees are leafless together with the glass, which produces objects that looks like spears and this depicts chaos. When explaining about the art director, Reimann, one of the makers suggested the use of Expressionist style in this film and this is explained as having deviated from the usual style that was more naturalistic in nature. The graphic design of the film’s images helped in turning it from the real and making the nightmarish or visionary. Although the film was aimed at using the style, the makers explain that some of the decision to use this style was influenced by the demands of the audience at this particular time. The result of these artistic expressions was the representation of the Weimer environment as it was viewed by its inhabitants.
German Expressionism and Nosferatu
The film, Nosferatu, is also a German Expressionism film, which is evident from the film’s plot, design, location and the appearance of the characters in the film. To start with, the flim’s story line shows the tone of insanity as it tells the story of Thomas Hutter who is a real estate agent. The character is sent to pay a visit to new client so as to convince the client that moving to Wisburg is a good decision. The client, however, is engaged in a rumor that he has been bringing a plague in the quiet town. It is during the travels of Hutter that the connection between him and Nosferatu. As explained, the tone is that of insanity and madness and it leads to the townspeople’s reaction, which is full of hesitation.
Apart from this aspect of Expressionism, the film also uses characters to depict the many disguises used in German Expressionism during the time of the film. For example, Nosferatu is also a vampire on top of being a human character and this to the viewers is grotesque, exaggerated and also unrealistic. His features, which include the large eyes, the look of his neck, the ugly and sharp fingers and nails evokes a melancholic atmosphere. It also forces viewers to interpret the main character as unusual because of his unusual representation.
The acting style of all the characters is also unusual and this works for this film. Their way of expression is also weird and consistent with the Expressionism style since this is done in an extreme and direct manner. Their performances too are distorted. This is seen from the loud scream and the blood sucking scenes that leaves the town people in a state of panic.
The Expressionism style is also seen in the film’s settings as well the film presents many artistic styles in abstract manners. For example, the buildings’ tops are both pointy and sharp. In fact, they resemble the huts of a witch.
The mise-en-scene concept is also presented since the film uses props, actors, stage design and similar elements to tell the story. This helps the film in gaining a sense of location, which in turn provides it with a real life effect.
It is worthy to state that the film is silent and this alone is a component used in German Expressionism. The long shots and the wide angle makes the film speak for itself without sound and this presents viewers with a chance to view the film’s characters and the film’s overall picture and plot. A good example, of this is the castle of Count Orlok, whereby realism and expressionism are used to clearly bring out the interiors of this castle. Light is also used in order to lift the darkness that engulfs the people and their town.
When the film is almost ending, it is not hard to notice the use of German Expressionism because of the shadows used by the filmmaker uses in Hutter’s home. The shadows bring out a mysterious and a dark mood, which is both scary and terrifying. This is also the same case with the entire film as the filmmakers have managed to evoke constant fear from the audience. The image of the empire created by the filmmakers stays long in the mind of the viewers and through watching the film, one is able to appreciate the use of German Expressionism.
When explaining more about such films and the German era after the First World War, Bockmann argues that the Germans, immediately after the war, felt alienated from their country. They had seen their environment being destroyed, which was also the case with the infrastructure as it was in chaos. During the Weimer culture, politicians worked hard to make the government stable and secure and many people were affected by the inflation in this period. The country was also in debt and had lost the fight to the enemy. The Germans, as had explained earlier when arguing the case for Expressionism loved the environment. Earlier artists had been inspired by some of this love. Expressionism was therefore one of the way to explain this love of nature in the earlier period before the World War I. The author explains that even before the war, artists had started depicting the country’s alienation from nature through the distorted images.
The other element, which as explained earlier was part of what characterized the expressionism and used in the Weimer film is abstraction. When defining this element, some authors argue that it stems from the great anxiety experienced by men when phenomenon terrorizes them that man perceives around him. This is also experienced because of the mysterious polarities that man is unable to understand.
Evolution to Modernism
In his explanations of these abstract films, Alter argues that most of them are based on the belief that cinema is art and this is a continuum of the 1th century realism. These films aimed at directly translating avant-garde painting in the film medium. The author claims that this is one of the reasons why most films within this period are abstract like the two films discussed earlier. However, the artists came to understand that abstract in art did not translate into the same meaning when used in film. There came the realization among film makers that what was relevant in art could not possibly mean that it was relevant in film and that each medium had to develop within its tradition confinements. The result of this, according to Alter is that abstract failed to be successful in film, but artists in this area came to learn that it could be developed further within this category without following the realistic narrative demands. This realization led to the evolution of films as they moved away from strict abstract to a more representational narrative. This is the reason why Ruttmann, one of the Avant-Garde’s filmmakers started concentrating more on such things as rhythm and movement in his films. The technique of visual rhyming therefore came to be used by Ruttman.
Film’s also evolved into a modern form in the late 1920s where they concentrated much on technological characteristics. This brought to the idea that such films could be ideal or used for advertising since they would be used to capture the emerging culture of the targeted consumer. The industrial mass culture was therefore used by some filmmakers during this period as an aesthetic feature of film. The period of German change from the Avant-Garde view is explained by some scholars in various ways. For example, some consider it as reactionary modernism, which was a complete reorientation. Instead, this change only integrated modern technology within the cultural system5.
Metropolis and Expressionism
A good example in relation to this is the film Metropoli, which was released in 1927 and was directed by Lang. At the time of the film’s release, film making had matured and they could be realistic. Metropolis allowed some aspects of the real world as flowers and gardens wee included. Unlike previous expressionism films the acting, Metropolis is considered a little stiff. However, this does not kill the emotional part of the film as it is more emotional compared to the previous films that used expressionist ideas.
For example, the main character in this film shows a variety of emotions since he is happy at the beginning. He later turns to be a bit of romantic and afraid in some other scenes. At one time, the character becomes so angry such that he falls ill during the process. The majority of the characters in this film are considered two dimensional in terms of emotions and this leads to the presentation of women as distrustful and this makes some afraid these women.
The film sets related to expressionism are constructed on studio stages, which keep reality from interfering with the filmed world creation. The sets have been presented in an elaborate manner including the buildings interiors and exteriors. This is also the same for locations for the outdoor shoots, which are deliberately artificial in order to symbolize a state of mind as opposed to a state of place.
This is consistent with the major aim of German expressionists, which is to eradicate nature for a condition of total abstraction and also provides them extra control over their creation. As for building, models were frequently together with trick photography in order to communicate proper scale. In relation to this, Metropolis’ buildings have been designed as angular, very tall things and unrealistic in their plan. They seem as if that they were never constructed even as forms. What you see in the film are paintings and some of the best animation seen was used in this film are seen when the city is revealed at night and highlights move across the buildings.
As explained earlier, German expressionist movement uses with uncanny subjects, which leads to its classifications as horror in the modern cinema world. Some of the movie elements are actually scary an example being when the the M-machine becomes a Moloch. However, this does not lead to their total classification as horror mainly because of what is being communicated by the filmmaker. This is because the film just shows the director’s show of unreality with the plot being just a vehicle to force this unreality.
Unlike Caligari, which can be explained as primitive, Metropolis can be considered revisionist since it slowly moves the focus of the audience from the dreamlike to reality. In fact, the actors’ behaviors differ from that of their antecedents and the location is set on a much bigger scale. It is also set in a technology replaced magic. The two elements are the main reason why this genre is not twisted.
Apart from these differences, the character are differ from former German expression films and this can be seem in their presentation in their acting as well as. In Metropolis, the film’s characters are more real mainly because of the signs that they show since they are some who are god while others are evil. A good example is the end of the movie where some change from good to evil and later to good.
German Expressionism and The Last Laugh (1924)
Another film in the same period also managed to use German Expressionism. In the film, The Last Laugh (1924), the director who is known as Murnau did not use photographing and painted expressionist sets like some his predecessors. Instead, he capitalized on the cinematic apparatus capacities. He also used special optical effects, extreme camera angles and energetic camera movements to achieve this expressionism. This film brilliantly shows the emotional corrosion of a doorman who us aging and this is at a luxury hotel located in a big city. This is also seen when he is downgraded from his position a lower one. This is after the hotel’s manager realizes that that he can no longer lift some heavy trunks. To the old man, the change is tragic. This is because he derives his self-esteem from this impressive roles and his uniform as they make him admirable by his working-class neighbors. Therefore, lack of these uniforms would make him an object of scorn and mockery. In this film, the doorman moves in a believably real mise-en-scène but the film is abundantly psychologically expressive since the photographic techniques such as camera angles, close-ups, distorting lenses, moving cameras and superimpositions communicate the inner states of mind of the doorman. The film uses the expressive abilities of camera angle since the filmmaker realized that seeing subject from a high humbles or diminishes the character. This is different from when the character is seen from below since he would appear confident and imposing.
This is used in the film’s beginning before the doorman is demoted from his location. Close-ups from below emphasize his self-importance and pride feelings. Later the audience is presented with him looking up at the daunting object when he is forced to do the upload. In this case, he photographed from a high angle in order to stress on his diminishment feelings. The trunk is then seen from his viewpoint after being shot from a low angle, which makes it seem very burdensome. The shooting of the camera from down give an emphasis to his struggle when lifting from the carriage.
To project the doorman’s inner feelings the filmmaker often presents the man’s world as distorted by his restlessness instead of the way it is. For example, when walking home after losing his job, the building are presented as swaying hazardously like they are about to fall on the man and kill him after crushing on him. This concise visual means helps the filmmaker in expressing the characters’ inner devastation after being crushed job loss and the status it carried. In partnership with his cameraman, the film director helped in adding a new element to the cinema’s expressiveness. This is because most directors used static cameras and employed camera movement when they wanted to make scenes more thrilling. Elongated shapes like the ones used in Caligari have also been used in this film. For example, from the point of view of the doorman, point of view, the face of the neighbor is grotesquely long-drawn-out out and elongated. This conveys the fear that the doorman has on the woman’s wrath especially when she discovers that he just a false idol.
Fritz Lang’s M and German Expressionism
M was another film that still used the German Expressionism style. The film, which was developed in 1931 largely, uses sound in a mature and astonishing way. Through the use of sound, the film’s director increases the sense of dread and horror. It was this film that made sound a feature of the narrative. The sound in this film was able to combine with the visual track and this helped in complementing the images on screen with an off screen sound. The combination of both is impeccable as it helps in telling the story. This is seen in the opening scene of the film whereby a competition exists between image and sound and this characteristic continues to the end of the film. At the beginning of this film is the sound of a young girl whose recitation is set in black screen in order to draw the attention of the crowd to a disconnecting between sound and image. The audience hears before they see. The opposition between the two elements continues in the scene and other parts of the film. It is at this moment that a woman reproaches the young girl because of her singing of the awful song. Throughout the film, the director manipulates this ability of hearing sound before the bearer is seen. For example, at one point the heavy breathing of a woman is heard before the audience can see her carrying laundry in her basket. This is also the same with the horns of a car, which ate heard before it passes by.
In relation to other films in this era and in relation German Expressionism. As explained earlier, the opening of the film does not the present of the main character. However, the use of shadow helps viewers in identifying with the character who is somewhere outside the film. The director also uses utilize expressionist styles in relation to crane shots, which are of a higher angle. The particular one used in the beginning concentrates on a group of children who are playing in the dark. The corners, in this case are dark and this contrasts with the lighted center. The off-screen space is a black space and this is connected to the dark shadows. Apart from this, the use of camera angle brings some significant meaning such as the meaning of power. In the same scene is a woman who is dressed in a white apron and she is shown gazing right at the children. The use of low angle shot in this case shows that the woman is the children’s protector. When the same woman disappears into the off-screen space, there is an effect on the camera as it stays behind upon the balcony, thus showcasing a sense of emptiness. The resumption of the game by the children confirms the fact that the power of the woman over the children is narrow. This is regardless of her bodily, and the ostensibly dominant presence.
Other Genres and their use of German Expressionism
Su Xiaobai and German Expressionism
Apart from film, other artists were also influenced by German Expressionism. For example, one of the known German Expressionist artists is Su Xiaobai’s whose artwork are still under forensic observation. Su’s expressionist work is known to have begun when the artist moved to Germany, which he explained was an escape as opposed to a wandering. On his new found place, Su argues that he hated vagrancy and that he loved a fixed place. According to his own statement of his work Xiobai argues that there was no true intent. He also argues that they did not come from any inspiration, but stemmed from an indescribable state of mind. Those who explain about his moving to Germany argue that it was a happy solution since his work is based on this place. When talking about his inspiration, he argues that his inspiration stemmed from nowhere and this s backed by others who argues that nothing, not even color seems to influence this artist. On the same inspiration, Su argues that he was not also influenced by the natural world when creating some of his painting.
Su’s artworks, which have been exhibited in different museum in the world, are explained as demonstrating the sense of texture, which is presented in a layered manner. This is brought about by the uniting of different choice of mediums, which are carefully selected. Some of his artworks are also explained as providing a dialogue space between the Su the artist and the viewers of his artworks. Apart from these elements, Xiobai is mainly dedicated towards achieving purity in his artworks. This is achieved through authenticity and originality. Su is also known of not using realistic nature portrayal in order to use simple and clean imagery that are considered rich and fine. His expressionism paintings are also characterized by large color blocks that fuse together or overlap in order to create fine color variations together with fine tone variations. Although these artworks are non-representative, they evoke aesthetic experience that is unmediated because of the purity of forms and colors. Another method used to bring the expressionist style in his painting is through the use of traditional medium like lacquer. Because of its smooth surface, hues and fluidity, Su’s paintings are provided with a deep, warm quality and rich texture. The artist also uses linen emulsion in order to add to the paintings’ expressionist power. Su’s work is also explained as beyond traditional because of the ability to use the relationship of medium and art form. These abilities help in surpassing the boundaries set by cultures and nations. It also makes his artworks both universal and global.
Other Elements of Expressionism Used in Weimer Films and Culture
Uncanny and Fetishism
Other elements used in these films is the elements of German Expressionism and Weimar Film and culture can be explained using term such as uncanny and fetishism. These events are linked in some way since they are bound together because there is a resemblance of the article when an object has been transformed by emotional magnetism and when a glazed gaze of a person changed. In Freud’s explanation of the term uncanny, he argues that the subject is related to what arouses horror and dread. In general, it refers to what excites fear. The uncanny, according to the same scholar is fearsome because of the unfamiliarity of things. He continues to argue that there are impressions, persons, things, situations and events that are capable of arousing uncanny feelings. When speaking about uncanny, Freud argues that it is both memorable and unfamiliar – especially when something known to us but hidden from us comes into light. This could be a memory that had been suppressed or even an ancient superstition. This is mostly seen in the discussed films through uncanny stare, which can be termed as abstracted. When an object passes by, the subject tends to confront the real and in such a case, this real is barred from us.
When explaining about fetishism in Dr. Caligari, D’Ambara argues that fetishism together with other fantastic scenarios helped in bringing the surreal and the demonic. The author cites the Caligari’s disturbed mind, which revealed all this through flashback. This was aided by the moving of the cinema from backward and forward in terms of time. This helped viewers to engage within these flickering images and become a participant instead of merely being a passive observer.
Expressionist Film, Modernism and Change
According to Silberman in his article, Whose Revolution, Weimer film in the 1930’s became more inclined to politicize appeal to the viewers in terms of social polarization that affected Weimer during the end of this republic. A film that can be used as a perfect example of this change is Kuhle Wampe, a 1932 film. In relation to this film, Silberman argues that the collective audience has power of either maintain past claims or revolutionizing change.
An explanation of Silberman’s words shows that the changes that were taking place in the film industry in the 20th century were mostly related to changes among the spectators. All this is depicted in the Kuhle Wampe film, which shows how filmamaking developed in Germany from leftists to the Third Reich.
Silberman argues that the 1920s in relation to the film industry were most characterized by exhibition, technological development, press coverage and marketing. All these, according to the same author depicted the increase in monopolization and centralization that engulfed all industries during this period. American films, during this time arranged capitalization with some American companies in order to avoid bankruptcy. Apart from being influenced by the audience, Silberman explains that film during this period was influenced by economic gains. This led to changes in film as production began to cater for economic gains as opposed to the earlier on the focus. The film, Kuhle Lumpe, therefore overcame these needs as it became more centered on the German non commercial aspect of film.
In conclusion, is an art movement that started in Germany during in the 1900s and started during the beginning of the First World War. The movement was influenced by some artists like Van Gogh and its pioneer’s include two groups of German artists who are responsible for the movement’s birth and establishment. From what can be deduced from the discussion, German Expressionism, cinema and other artworks allowed artists troubled by the consequences of First World War to depict internal thoughts and emotions. This was allowed by the political uncertainty and the instability of the German Weimar Republic. The major class that turned cinema as a medium of expression is the middle class since this new medium was a good way of being part of and representing the Weimar Republic. This is best seen in films such as Dr. Caligari, which exhibits the character’s personality to the unsuspecting crowd. Such films were soon realized after cinema was invented and in the period of explained frustration in relation to the societal changes related to war. Other films developed after this period and show the influence of modernity and other aspects such as capitalism and monopolization. Although this is the case, all the discussed works still show some features derived from the influence of German Expressionism.