Eleven years ago, I was lured into the world of German Expressionism via the hypnotic gaze peering out at me from the cover of Fritz Lang’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It sat on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, beckoning me. Little did I know that my consumption of film would be forever altered by that afternoon’s shopping trip. Not only did it encourage my further exploration of early German masterworks, but it also marked my first proper introduction to the films in The Criterion Collection. As my collection and my film education has grown, I owe the fine folks at Criterion an awful lot for making some of the world’s greatest films available in editions that are packed with extras. They are truly a cinephile’s dream. I often think of that day in January of 2005 when I first took the shrinkwrap off this DVD and the thrill of that discovery. The film itself burrowed into my brain with its eerie imagery, disquieting sound design and one of cinema’s first criminal masterminds aiming for nothing less than the end of civilization. I was hooked and one of these days may have to add another wing to the house to hold the film library. It’s a great problem to have.
What you’ll find in this episode: Fritz Lang’s tall tales, criminal supermen, how I was bitten by the Criterion collecting bug and a rousing game of Ja Oder Nein.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Testament of Dr. Mabuse on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Third Man.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Les Vampires.
The home of The Criterion Collection.
A great list of some of the finest films that German Expressionism has to offer.
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