The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) is a classic illustration of expressionist technique in film. The film production is about the disturbed Dr. Caligari. The stark distorted set, as a projection of his insane views, askew angles of vision and hypnotic acting enhances the portrayal of madness in this film.
The Emperor Jones, a play by Eugene O’Neill, tells the saga of an African American man who sets himself up as emperor in a Caribbean Island.
The film has been cited as an influence on several artistic expressions, including films, music and, among others, theatrical plays. O’Neill express in a letter “…planning for a new latitude in screen expression. I saw Caligari and it sure opened my eyes to wonderful possibilities I had never dreamed of before”. The main difference in the expression techniques used is, by their own nature, the presence of dialogues. Caligari was a silent film while the play is based on strong and powerful dialogue and interplay between characters, which often seem to be an extension of Jones’s inner demons.