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The return of Dr. Caligari

The first thought that came to my head when I saw the photos of the Film & Visual Media Research Center at the University of London’s Birkbeck College is that someone was crazy enough to color a copy of the cardboard decoration from my favorite horror movie The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, a 1921 silent B&W masterpiece from genius director Robert Wiene. Apparently I was not very far from truth and the Architects of this construction were aiming at people who realize how cool this movie was.

According to The Cool Hunter, a dot uk blog focusing on global zeitgeist phenomenas and fashion who posted these pictures, London-based Surface Architects created this magnificent new home for the institute using an old reconstructed building as a “cover” when basement, ground floor and the extension were transformed “Robert Wiene style” into a cinema auditorium, surrounded by all other necessities such as media study suite, seminar rooms and offices.

Ian Christie, Birkbeck’s Professor of Film and Media History, kind of said so himself when explaining how the projection of intersecting cones has various film associations and how “the jagged angles recall the Expressionist set design of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an influential German film of 1921”. Here is a small taste of the original Dr. Caligari cardboard decoration, just in case you still didn’t have the pleasure to watch it.

Lastly, as we live a new world where media is freely shared by movie buffs, here is folks: ten whole minutes with the Dr. and his human living-dead pat, hosted for you by a Google Inc. company. Thank you so very much Mr. BigBananaTV!

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One Response to “The return of Dr. Caligari”

  1. That is so cool.

    I’m a big fan of that movie, too. The sets are amazing and add to the creep factor.

    Thanks for sharing.


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