a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
The Golem: How He Came Into the World
In 16th-century Prague, a Jewish rabbi creates a giant creature from clay, called the Golem, and using sorcery, brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.
Whether it be clay figures or cadavers, the idea of imbuing inanimate objects with life has long been a staple of the horror story. From European folk tales and gothic literature, to pulpy American potboilers, horror has long been marked by stories of human beings granting life to things that have no business living. "The Golem: How He Came into the World" is such a tale. Based on Jewish folklore, the film is an expressionistic and engrossing look at humankind's desire to play God.
When the Jewish population of Prague is ousted by the emperor, a Rabbi takes it upon himself to protect his people by creating a Golem, a hulking clay figure come to life. Paul Wegener and Carl…
I don't venture into the realm of silent movies too often, which stems from the fact that i'm a bit lazy and i see them as a bit of a struggle, but also because i love the use of sound in movies. From the brilliance of Carpenters synth soundtracks to Jeremy Schmidt's more recent Beyond the Black Rainbow score or Morricone's themes to My Name is Nobody and Duck, You Sucker or Donald Sutherland's iconic point and scream at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers to John Wayne and Maureen O'hara violently flirting within an eerie, wind-shaken shack in The Quiet Man. Anyway, I love the use of sound in movies and it blows my mind on a…
Spellbinding testament of obsession and paranoia, breathtaking in its scope and unprecedented special effects that enhanced the sensation of demonic dementia. Magically, Wegener, behind and in front of the camera, also managed to create a fantasy perspective of heartwarming appeal and insightful topics through an iconic image. Pure genius.
***OctHorror Fest 2014*** Day 31
The Golem: How He Came Into the World is actually a prequel in a trilogy of films starting with The Golem (1915) and continuing with The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917), both are lost.
This film felt very familiar to me in that there are a lot of elements that feel inspired by much older stories. There's the old good versus evil story, in this it's the Christians against the Jews. There's a love story between the knight of the Holy Emperor and the daughter of a rabbi, which felt very similar to the romance between Romeo and Juliet. Eventually the monster falls in love with the daughter, which is a classic trope of…
The best thing about commiting yourself to watch some movies you just kept forgetting on the shelf is that, sometimes, the payoff is just that much better. I first came to know of The Golem through a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode where Bart came to "acquire" the services of a clay golem Krusty kept backstage. It took me a while to find out the whole concept was based on an actual film, 1915's The Golem, of which this movie is a prequel. Since that day it has been sitting on my watchlist and I'm glad I to have finally taken it out of there.
Taking place in Prague, the movie starts with…
Everyone in this movie—sans the rabbis and the Golem itself—looks like flower children from a Bosch painting, like the Garden of Earthly Delights or the Temptation of St. Anthony. Is it just me or is that twisted fairy-tale vernacular just what Wegener wanted?
Despite all that, the director's third Golem film is by far the main demonstration of his ability to craft fascinating adaptations of tall tales like the Golem's origin story, and it doesn't ever come close to resembling a Bosch triptych. Instead, there's a broad combination of theatre experience, visual influence from contemporary German Expressionist productions, and a keen interest in using the titular sentinel as a vehicle for social commentary (like all of the best fables). For…
While this is a great example of German Expressionism, it is also chilling in the way it depicts government sanctioned anti-semitism.
what about geodude and graveller lol
Darkly mesmerising. The soundtrack is very effective and the gothic visuals brought Nosferatu to mind.
Seen as "onlooker" during the annual, open-air "UFA Filmnächte" in Berlin. I can't help it being utterly fascinated by the silent German cinema of the 1920s. Totally unique, eerie & expressionistic. Marvelous stuff for the ages.
The poor golem looks so lost and confused for most of it, it's almost cute. Really impressive movie, the visuals are gorgeous and it never feels boring.
Perhaps (rightfully) best known for its context in the silent era and European history, The Golem... is also a very serviceable entry in the early days of supernatural horror.
Although the set design is less inspired than that of its most iconic contemporary, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, such an observation should not be interpreted as an insult. Few films have matched the bizarre heights of Caligari's expressionistic set design. Unlike in Caligari, occasional glimpses of realism in The Golem hint at a horror that could invade the violent, racially divided world we know.
Unsettling tones are primarily achieved through stark illumination of religious and mythical imagery. Unforgettable scenes of horrific chiaroscuro in the ghetto are augmented by the bright…
Although historically interesting, Wegener's Golem (1920) never reaches the same heights as Nosferatu, Caligari and Faust. That being said, it's still worth seeing, if only for Karl Freund's cinematography and the production design.
People checking this out for its placement in some horror top list beware, it's not scary. As a metaphor and piece of cinematic history, der Golem is still worth seeing. But the average horror buff without too much desire to see the absolute roots of the genre, may very we'll be disappointed.
- Excellent production design, massive and imposing sets.
- Very entertaining performance from Paul Wegener as the Golem.
- Very sweet and poetic conclusion.
- Clever Imagery.
- Poor pacing, the film is overlong for what it is.
- A dull 'love triangle' subplot which is grating.
- Not enough screentime for the titular Golem.
A good spin on Frankenstein's monster: the golem's rudimentaries attempts at being human, whether a good one (a father) or a bad one (a rapist), always seem to spell six ways of doom for him. But it's really disappointing to see how little this film is concerned with its Doctor Frankenstein: the Faustian elements are brushed off to the side, never coming back to bite him personally in the ass (he doesn't even interact with the golem after he goes off for the parade). Much as I like the depiction of Jewishness here, especially coming from Germany, the film's worst trapping is its unwillingness to portray its Jewish characters (read: almost everyone of relevance) as beings capable of really fucking up. Except the woman, of course.
No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…