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Expressionism in Film and Architecture: Hans Poelzig's Sets for Paul Wegener's The Golem Author(s): John R. Clarke Source: Art Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Winter, 1974-1975), pp. 115-124 Published by: College Art Association Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/01/2015 21:42 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] . College Art Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Art Journal. This content downloaded from on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:42:39 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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Expressionism in Film and Architecture: Hans Poelzig's Sets for Paul Wegener's The Golem JOHN R. CLARKE This article discusses The Golem from several aspects, each of which relates in different degrees to the work Hans Poelzig did in designing the sets for the film. In order to understand the importance of the production, the history of its conception and execution has to be examined. Then, too, Poelzig's training and sources are vital to this discussion and to an analysis of the sets for The Golem in view of Poelzig's style. The Go/em's director, Paul Wegener, was convinced that the camera eye per se was far more capable than the novel or the theater of rendering the vision of the fantastic and mysterious which haunted the German romance of the first decades of this century. Wegener had been an actor under Max Reinhardt and was fully familiar with the content and aims of contemporary German theater. Wegener saw that the possibil- ities in the cinema to easily change points of view, to divide the screen, and to superimpose were all means of creating the strange mixture of reality and fantasy which was the heart of the German thriller. Et il continue: "J'ai eu I'idee de mon GOLEM, de cette myst6rieuse figure de terre glaise anim6e par le rabbin Loew, grace a une legende du ghetto de Prague, et c'est avec ce film que j'ai penetre plus profond6ment dans le domaine du cinema pur. Tout y depend de I'image, d'un certain "flou" ou le monde fantastique du pass6 rejoint le monde du present. Je me rendis compte que la technique de la photographie allait d6terminer la destinee du cinema. La lumiere, I'obscurite jouent au cinema le role que jouent le rythme et la cadence en musique.' The first Golem of 1914, which is now lost, mixed the story of the contemporary discovery of the Golem in Prague with the legend of Rabbi Liw's creation of the Golem around 1580.
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  • Spring '15
  • German Expressionism, The Golem: How He Came into the World, Paul Wegener, Hans Poelzig

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