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Cinematic Style


As the name suggests, German Expressionist film was very much concerned with artistic expression, and to a great extent, it was also a way of expressing many of the feelings and ideas that had resonance for German society at the time. The Themes and context document is designed to support study and provide further background on the film and features additional information on German Expressionism.

Watch this sequence closely and work through the questions below, using the above document to help you:

Sequence analysis

  1. Consider how the city space is portrayed here. For example, is this a glamourised, or romanticised image of the city? What does the constructed landscape contribute to our understanding of the film?
  2. What sort of tone, atmosphere and feeling is conveyed in the sequence? Identify aspects of the cinematic style that contribute to the creation of tone and atmosphere.
  3. How does the cinematic style in this sequence work to visually express the themes of German Expressionism, as you understand them?
  4. Can you identify any other themes evoked through the film’s style in this sequence?
  5. Based on the film as a whole, in what ways do you think the style of Metropolis may deviate from the confines of Expressionist style?