Art and Experience:

German Expressionism is still strong today.

Euphoria is one of the most talked-about shows on television. Everyone seems to be discussing what happens in front of and behind the scenes. While rumors and ideas swirl, one thing that’s undeniable is that the show has a strong, classic cinema leaning. Much of its visuals and cinematography take direct influence from German Expressionism.

Check out this video from Thomas Flight, and let’s talk after.

What Is the Art Movement Euphoria Mimics?

For those who don’t know, German Expressionism is a movement that used distorted sets, contrasts of light and dark, expressionistic acting, and other devices to evoke moods through visuals. It was used as social criticism or commentary on the emotional state of Germany at the time.

 

And now it seems like it’s tapping into the emotional state of teenagers in America.

It’s hard to think of a show that messes with time, space, and visuals in order to show a character’s mental state more than Euphoria. While some of the visuals feel like neon-noir, it’s actually a show that thrives on stunning lighting and color shifts that harness expressionism as the classic noirs did.

You can call this stylized or surreal, but the language here is obviously referencing a film movement gone by. The show is about people off balance, either due to drugs, emotions, circumstances, or even a play they watch that portrays their lives.

 

‘Euphoria’CREDIT: HBO

To support this, we’ve seen montages, stills, and cinematography that hearken back to other eras but reinvent black and white with pops of color to make things feel more current and, at times, alive. I think it also makes a show like this accessible to people who have no idea what director and creator Sam Levinson is mimicking, but understand that the way the show shoots things makes them feel a certain way.

 

Hopefully, it’s sparking curiosity and pulling people into film history, or at the very least, getting them interested in film theory.

Source: nofilmschool