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Shell Shock Cinema

Shell Shock Cinema

Kaes uses the term "shell shock"—coined during World War I to describe soldiers suffering from nervous breakdowns—as a metaphor for the psychological wounds that found expression in Weimar cinema. Directors like Robert Wiene, F. W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang portrayed paranoia, panic, and fear of invasion in films peopled with serial killers, mad scientists, and troubled young men. Combining original close analysis with extensive archival research, Kaes shows how this cinema of shell shock transformed extreme psychological states into visual expression; how it pushed the limits of cinematic representation with its fragmented story lines, distorted perspectives, and stark lighting; and how it helped create a modernist film language that anticipated film noir and remains incredibly influential today.

Anton Kaes

326 pages
Princeton University Press

ISBN: 978-0691031361

$29.95 $29.95