Anton Kaes "Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War"
Shell Shock Cinema explores how the classical German cinema of the Weimar Republic was haunted by the horrors of World War I and the devastating effects of the nation's defeat. In this exciting new book, Anton Kaes argues that masterworks such as The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, Nosferatu, The Nibelungen, and Metropolis, even though they do not depict battle scenes or soldiers in combat, engaged the war and registered its tragic aftermath. These films reveal a wounded nation in post-traumatic shock, reeling from a devastating defeat that it never officially acknowledged, let alone accepted. Kaes uses the term "shell shock" - coined during World War I to describe soldiers suffering from nervous breakdowns-as a metaphor for the psychological wounds that found expression in Weimar cinema. Directors like Robert Wiene, F.W.Murnau, and Fritz Lang portrayed paranoia, panic, and fear of invasion in films peopled with serial killers, mad scientists, and troubled young men. Combining original...