Where is the disorder?: Analysis of Fritz Langs M"

1021 Words5 Pages
Fritz Lang’s 1931 M is a cinematic thriller of a psychotic child murderer. Internationally known for its advanced technological accomplishments: creative use of sound, crosscutting editing, and graphic compositions to propel the narrative. Because of this innovation M will appeal to several generations. However, for my purposes, M is most intriguing as not only a reflection of the psychological disorder of a man, but also the disorder of German Expressionist film in the early thirties. Consciously made this way or not, scene analysis provides evidential support that M seems to mirror the rise of fascism in Germany, but in that reflection may be attempting to expose the M to the German audience responsible. The culture of Germany in the early thirties was caught in crisis. The slow collapse of the Weimar Republic from 1913 to 1933 created society that seemed to live in disorder, a chaos that was not just social and economical but psychological. The German stability of personal identity destroyed by the realized poverty, unemployment, and depressed society. This disorder and instability are reflected in the major cultural trends of the period. “In the final year of World War I, the German government wondered whether preferring bullets to pictures had been a tactical error” (118). The German expressionist artists who focused their paintings on the nightmare world underneath everyday life. Freud’s theories also became more influential during this period. Especially appropriate and important since the subject matter of his work is the dark unconscious mind below men/ women’s conscious life. The German expressionist cinema of the period also focused on this crisis and its depiction. Some of the most important films made during this time depict a unstable society (i.e. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,1920 to Nosferatu, the Vampire,1922 122-125). Many of these films seem
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