Art Synk

German Expressionism: Cat People

Film, Mar 31, 2022
the scream

Synopsis

Oliver, an American man, falls in love with Irena, a Serbian lady who feels she is cursed. When women are in heat or are in a passionate condition, the curse causes them to shift into panthers. The couple's marriage is strained as a result of her believing in the curse, prompting Oliver to confide in his coworker, Alice. Enraged by Oliver's friendship with Alice, as well as his supposed romance with her, Irena's curse becomes a reality, and she attempts to make Alice neurotic by making her believe she is being chased, but she does not murder her.

Relation to German Expression

The influence of Cat People may be seen in various elements of this film. The storyline is one of the most obvious clues. The tendency of German expressionism to include highly warped reality is one of its distinguishing features. The likelihood of a lady being cursed to transform into a panther when she is passionate is extremely rare-- a case of twisted reality.

Another example of this film's inspiration is its use of chiaroscuro lighting. There's a lot of usage of this lighting throughout the moment where Irena is preying on and making Alice anxious, as if to make it feel lonely, as if the spectator is almost also preying on Alice.

Something linked to its inspired style that this film does not do is employ high or extreme angles; instead, this film prefers to maintain the camera straight and centered, even in instances where it may make sense to use this angle.

Another feature of German Expressionism is the utilization of implausible sets, such as locations that characters would not normally occupy or even dare to set foot on. There are no impossible sets in Cat People. It takes place in typical city structures such as a therapy office, an apartment complex, an office, and so on.

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