Warning Shadows [Paperback]

Anjeana Hans(Author)

ISBN: 9781640140912 | Published by: Camden House | Series: Camden House German Film Classics | Volume: 8 | Year of Publication: 2021 | 102p, H7.5 x W5.25, 31 color, 2 b/w
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Warning Shadows


Artur Robison's Warning Shadows - in German simply Schatten, shadows - premiered in 1923 to critical acclaim. This story of a fateful dinner party at which a flirtatious wife, her jealous husband, and their guests are entertained by a traveling illusionist who deals in shadow play and hypnosis was extolled by one critic as superior to Wegener's Golem, Lubitsch's Passion, even Murnau's Nosferatu and Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Yet where those films became mainstays of film history, Warning Shadows was long unknown: only recently, with the release of a restored version on DVD, has it begun to get its due. One of the few silent movies to eschew intertitles, it was an attempt to create a "pure film," drawing on the qualities of cinema that made it not an heir to literature or theater but a unique and autonomous art form. Staging a story of desire, adultery, and violence, Robison's film also engaged with discourses at the heart of Weimar culture, from changing gender norms to hysteria and hypnosis to the construction of spectatorship. Seen this way, Warning Shadows is both a gripping narrative of infidelity and jealousy and a film inherently about film.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Little-Known Movie
The Making of the Movie
Defining Film: Art Form or Public Danger?
A Film "Full of Eroticism"
Projections within Projections
The Illusionist: Magic, Control, and Art
Spectators Become Actors
Hypnotism: Therapy and Spectacle
"This Magical Therapy"
What Lies Beneath: Gender and Violence
The Hypnotic Screen
The Other Projection: The Chinese Shadow Play
Conclusion: A More Complex History

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