Red Hot Chili Peppers in “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

In 2000, Red Hot Chili Peppers presented “Otherside”, a song about the problems of detoxification that concerned quite a few of the band members.

But it was the directors of the song’s clip, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, which some of you may remember from the video clips of Smashing Pumpkins, that stole the show.

The video clip introduces us to the aesthetics of the 20s, brought out from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” horror movie.

It was at this time that the school of German expressionism was creating the first monsters of the big screen. Dr Caligari, but also Nosferatu, express the end of an era – the death throes of the Weimar Republic. German cinema seems to be the first to perceive the advent of another monster: Adolf Hitler.
American cinema will borrow many monsters of the German expressionism to cast away its own fears. For

It, too, must handle the total failure of an economic system, which must plunge mankind into yet another world war in order to be revived.

King Kong for instance climps the top of the Empire State Building, the stock market bubble’s greatest symbol, which will mark the start of the 30s Great Depression.

king kong

Several years later Hitchcock, who was introduced to cinema in Germany in the years of the German expressionism, will borrow elements of the Nosferatu’s shadow to create the “Psycho” knife scene.


A few decades later Tim Barton will look back at German expressionism to create “Batman Returns” in 1992.


As for the “Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, after the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was Coldplay’s turn to use it as a motif for their video clip-“Cemeteries of London”.

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