expressionism (expressionist)

Expressionism, or expressionist, refers to the distortion of reality through lighting, editing, and costumes to reflect the inner feelings and emotions of the characters or the filmmaker. Cinematic style of fantasy film common in post-WWI Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by dramatic lighting, dark visual images and shadows, grotesque and fantastic shots, distorted sets and angles, heavy makeup, highly stylized acting, and symbolic mime-like action and characters. Opposed to "realism."