The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

German Expressionism and German Romanticism as Exemplified by Nosferatu and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"It is reasonable to argue that the German cinema is a development of German Romanticism, and that modern technique (cinematography) merely lends a visible form to Romantic fancies", Lotte Eisner asserts. Both Romanticism (late 18th-19th Century) and Expressionism (early 20th Century) were reactions to a period of collectivist order and intellectual rigidity. Both were consoling movements that followed suppression of individualism. Romanticism favored feeling over reason, rejecting its predecessor, the Enlightenment ideal of balance and rationalism, offering the hysterical, the fantastical and the supernatural instead. Expressionism, then, was the settling dust that enveloped post-revolution German society, a frustrated desire for change that followed the rupture of World War I, and also a firm backlash to industrialization. If art were a precise representation of society's psyche, F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) could have been released with Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) and not appear anachronistic - forgiving the lag in development of the film medium, of course. The film and ballad typified their respective periods, and were both a bursting out from the binds of order and...

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