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.
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…
***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…
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…
Hoop-tober Film #33: Germany/1920s
Preshow: Short - The Haunted House (1921)
Pretty solid horror entry from Germany, and you can see its influence on Metropolis, Frankenstein, Mummy movies and several others. Paul Wegener is imposing as the Golem, and his facial expressions, though exaggerated, do give this hulking thing a character.
Ufa's sole surviving treatment of the Jewish legend is fascinating; if 'Caligari' verges on avant garde, this film uses its wild set design and eeriness for the most classical breed of storytelling. It takes place in Prague during the Middle Ages, where an edict barring Jewish citizens from a ghetto is lamented by a Rabbi, who then takes the slightly unorthodox step of fashioning a mechanical man from clay and sending it out to take action and reverse the oppression. There's a love story too. The most distinctive moment comes with the wild special effects when the spirit of Astaroth is summoned to reveal the magic word; this scene contains some of the most impressive effects of the silent era…
Der golem looks alot like Putin
Here's the most famous quote:
Oh yeah. I forgot. It's a silent film.
Regardless, this is an interesting interpretation of the "golem" myth - kind of a "frankenstein" like myth indeed.
Some cool special effects for the time towards the end. The fire and such. Also the summoning of the demon is pretty cutting edge for the time period.
Enjoyed it this second time I've seen the film.
Viewed in context, this is an amazing film. Paul Wegener delivers a fantastic monster that is on-par with any Chaney creature. Still, the real stars of the film are the artistic sets and beautifully composed shots that bridge the technical gap between Georges Melies and Fritz Lang. Almost a hundred years later, this movie's atmosphere feels original, and though the effects mighty be tinny, it still promises to entertain.
Surely one of the earliest examples of the creation turning on the creator trope in film. It's like proto sci fi drawn from a Jewish myth.
There's a lot to like about this film, the set design, and special effects were great.
Whilst the story was interesting, I felt it lacked the depth that make some if it's contemporaries so magical. The acting was also a tad hammy at times.
But there's no doubting the visual strength and atmosphere evoked by this one.
Fascinating! Loved the set design and fairytale feel. Very interesting to see nearly 100 years on.
Another Horror Project: Finishing “101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die" - Film #1
While I didn't find to be nearly as interesting as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari there was still some stuff to take note off.
The story of a brutish monster created by a mad scientist ( or rabbi in this case) is used to full effect here as the titular Golem is summoned to save the jewish people from a terrible fate. As one could imagine however, the Golem ultimately goes berserk and cause even more trouble for the jewish population.
The titular Golem is one of many slow, lumbering movie monsters that have graced the silver screens over the years. His intimidation factor…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
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