Since reality is essentially incalculable and therefore demands to be observed rather than commanded, realism on the screen and total organization exclude each other. Through their “studio constructivism” no less than their lighting the German films revealed that they dealt with unreal events displayed in a sphere basically controllable.
In the course of a visit to Paris about six years after the premiere of CALIGARI, Janowitz called on Count Etienne de Beaumont in his old city residence, where he lived among Louis Seize furniture and Picassos. The Count voiced his admiration of CALIGARI, terming it “as fascinating and abstruse as the German soul.” He continued: “Now the time has come for the German soul to speak, Monsieur. The French soul spoke more than a century ago, in the Revolution, and you have been mute … Now we are waiting for what you have to impart to us, to the world.”
The Count did not have long to wait.