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LACMA spotlights '20s German Expressionist films

LACMA spotlights '20s German Expressionist films

Complex. Sophisticated. Groundbreaking. Shocking.

These words describe the German Expressionist cinema during the Weimar era after World War I — a bravura brand of filmmaking that is still mesmerizing audiences and influencing filmmakers today.

They were highly stylized pictures with off-kilter set designs, innovative cinematography and chiaroscuro lighting that highlighted the nightmarish, dark and often perverse subject matters.

Among the master filmmakers were Robert Wiene (1920's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"), F.W. Murnau (1922's "Nosferatu," 1924's "The Last Laugh"), Paul Leni (1924's "Waxworks") and Fritz Lang (1924's...