Gaby den Held - Inspiration

Jimmy Lucky and Nola Hatterman

This is Nathan Benillouche! I thought, when I saw this painting again 
in the magazine last weekend of my newspaper. I love it. It is from 
NOLA HATTERMAN (1899-1984). 'Op het terras'(On the terras) 
shows the revue artist Jimmy van der Lak who performed under the 
name Jimmy Lucky. It supposed to be painted as part of an advertising 
campaign for the beer brand Amstel, but the brewer withdrew the order 
when he saw a black man was portrayed.
 
About the painting and NOLA HATTERMAN
 
 
 
 
 
INSPIRATION

    ​
The people, the projects, the music,  the movies that lift you up. That inspire you in everything: your vision on society and the way you look at life. That make you reflect, move, shock and shake you, turn your world upside down. Or make it more beautiful. If only for a few moments.
 
 Baudelaire par Saez (Femmes damnées)
Saez version of Femmes damnees and the video are beautiful!
 
 
 
Un Chant d'Amour

This hymn of poetic sensuality and only film of JEAN GENET (in collaboration with Nico Papa Takis) is from 1950, but was immediately considered pornograpic. The film was distributed only in private circles. The actual premiere took place in 1975.
It is a film without dialogue and originally without music band. In 2005 the French music group Mansfield.TYA issued a "cine-concert" with this film.

The dry humor of STEREO TOTAL, a Berlin-based French-German duo comprising Françoise Cactus (born Françoise Van Hove) and Brezel Göring (aka Friedrich von Finsterwalde, born Friedrich Ziegler), and the deadly serious eroticism of Jean Genet are a nice mix.
Stereo Total: Johnny
Painful paradise

The shining airbrush paintings from the Kashmir-born, London-based artist RAQIB SHAW shows you a painful earthly paradise. Since Hieronymus Bosch there hasn’t been an artist that portrayed the dark side of human existence with such splendor and glamor.


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Hector de Gregorio

Hauntingly beautiful, terrifying terrific. Old masters return in a taunting dark 
spotlight. I discovered today the work of HECTOR DE GREGORIO. 
Recommended! 

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The Saragossa Manuscript 

The Polish Count JAN POTOCKI (1761-1815) was a scholar, writer, diplomat, world traveler, adventurer, naturalist, ethnologist,  linguist, education improver, MP, one of the first balloonists and a revolutionary.  In 1815 he committed suicide. He shot himself with the silver knob of his mother’s  teapot that he had filed until it  fitted his gun. That was a year after he had finished his marvelous novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. For those who don’t know this masterpiece: get a copy and read it! It’s more tempting, exciting and intriguing than "Thousand and One Nights, Don Quixote and  Decameron together.

In 1964 it was filmed by Wojciech J. Has as ‘THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT’ with a score by the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The movie was admired by Buñuel. Unfortunately it was unavailable for decades until Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola financed its restoration


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Predrag Pajdic 

Love of beauty is taste. the creation of beauty is art is the credo of the 
artist, photographer, curator and historian PREDRAG PAJDIC
(Yugoslavia, 1965) who is living and working in London.

His images tell a story of mythological stature, his models seem both 
tangible and unearthly.

PREDRAG PAJDIC and THE PANDORIAN

GABY DEN HELD
           
                         
Man with a pussy 

STUART WARWICK. A man with a beautiful tender voice. His music is both serene and intense. He is compared to Rufus Wainwright and Perfume Genius.

Just listen to 'Man with a pussy. The video is beautiful. On display is the "anti-drag queen" and performance artist DAVID HOYLE.

STUART WARWICK: Man with a pussy


Roger Peyrefitte

Roger Peyrefitte (17 August 1907-5 November 2000) was a French writer, diplomat and a defender of gay rights. He wrote novels that were mostly gay related and biographical as LES AMITIÉS PARTICULIÈRES (1944), which was filmed in 1964. On the set he meets the the 12-year-old Alain-Philippe Malagnac d'Argens de Villèle. They maintained a lifelong friendship. Alain married later on with singer and artist Amanda Lear. Roger Peyrefitte was controversial because of his sharp tongue and pen. In April 1976, after Pope Paul VI had condemned homosexuality in a homily, Peyrefitte accused him of being a closet homosexual.

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Edith Sitwell
I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.

The English poet Edith Sitwell (7 September 1887 – 9 December 1964) had a striking appearance. Picasso described her face as a 'collecter's item', and Cecil Beaton described her as 'a tall graceful scarecrow'. Over the years her coths became more and more eccentric. Edith Sitwell came from an old aristocratic family but had an unhappy and loveless childhood. Her strict father forced her to wear a steel corset to correct the state of her spine. When she was twenty five she moved to London with her governess Helen Rootham. She began writing avant-garde poems that caused quite a fuss and aroused the disgust of traditionalists. FAÇADE (1923), for example, is a rap avant la lettre, with accompanying music by William Walton. But she impressed with her poems about the 2nd World War, like STILL FALLS THE RAIN (1941), written after the air raids on London, and to music by Benjamin Britten. After the war, she finally got recognition for her art. She received numerous awards and joined the Order of the British Empire.

Edith Sitwell interviewed by John Freeman
From: FACE TO FACE (fragment)
Still falls the rain

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Steven Arnold

The black & white tableau vivants from the American artist Steven Arnold (1943-1994) are unparalleled grotesque and fantastic. Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol were great admirers of his work. Especially after seeing his surrealist film LUMINOUS PROCURESS, featuring THE COCKETTES, a legendary group of drag queens.

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Vladimir Clavijo Telepnev   

The sepia colored pictures seem the work of a long-forgotten photographer from the Victorian era. But Vladimir Clavijo Telepnev was born in 1962 in Moscow. His images are nostalgic but transcend cheap sentiment. You are drawn into a magical world that seem long gone. In a pleasant way you get intoxicated. At the same time you're beginning to feel uncomfortable, a somehow creepy feeling. You realize that something is wrong. But it's too late.
 
 
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NEDERLANDS
Gods of the night
The cultural life in Berlin bursted loose during the Weimar Republic (1918/1919-1933). Two artists in particular embodied this longing for artistic freedom: ANITA BERBER (1899-1928) and SEBASTIAN DROSTE (1892-1927). In the short time they lived and worked together they presented themselves averse taboos and anti-bourgeois. Their androgynous nude dances were no casual sex shows. They wanted to reach a state of ecstasy beyond mundane life and simple pleasure. A complex state of lust, purity, desire, horror and deep humanity. Some titles of their shows were "Suicide, Morphium, and Madhouse. Together they also released a book with poems and pictures titled ‘Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy '.
In 1987 ROSA VON PRAUNHEIM made a film about Anita Berber: "Anita, Tänze des Lasters’ with LOTTI HUBER.
More on Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste:  
 
Anita Berber
Sebastian Droste:
Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy
Opening scene from:  ‘Anita, Tänze des Lasters’  
 
Louis Aragon

He had his most surreal experience in his younger years. How alienating it must be when your foster mother turns out to be your grandmother, and your real mother is your sister. And all to hide the fact that he was an illegitimate child. The writer and poet LOUIS ARAGON (1897, Paris—1982, Paris), was, together with André Breton and Philippe Soupault, one of the founders of the surrealist movement. His conversion to communism would later cause a break with his friends. His love for communism was not uncritical. He strongly condemned the heavy-handed suppression of the Prague Spring.

Over the years the style of his novels developed from surreal (LE PAYSAN DE PARIS) via social realism (LES COMMUNISTES) back to surrealism (BLANCHE OU L'OUBLIÉ). His poetry was interpreted by many composers and chansonniers, including Jean Ferrat, Georges Brassens and Léo Ferré.


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Louis Aragon reads from ELSA
Jean Ferrat sings UN JOUR, UN JOUR (text Louis Aragon)
More on PARIS PEASANT (Le Paysan de Paris)  
Andrej Dúbravský   

The young Slovenian artist Andrej Dúbravský (1987) captures the boisterous narcissism and riotous uninhibited sexuality of adolescence in his paintings and drawings of boys who, often in groups, enjoy the great outdoors. The rabbit ears refer to the ears of a faun. The viewer feels like a voyeur who is drawn into Andrej's world, revealed by his paintings, drawings, but also through private pictures and home videos.


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Matthew Albanese  

Matthew Albanese (1983) photographs miniature worlds he creates himself. Fire-breathing volcanoes, tornadoes, lunar landscapes, a burning house. The material and how it responds to the light is essential for him. “How To Breathe Underwater” for instance, is made from walnuts, poured and cast candle wax, cables, glitter, peanut shells, flock, plaster, wire, starfish, compressed moss, jellybeans, sponges, coated seashells and toothpaste.


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Wolfgang Herrndorf             

Movies, visual arts,  the stories of the past, current events and the news 
are an inspiration. And literature? If there is a writer who inspires it would 
be WOLFGANG HERRNDORF. 
Sadly he passed away recently. He had a brain tumor and before his end 
was near he commited suicide. The reason for my fascination for him as 
a writer lies in his extraordinary imaginative style, which seems limitless. 
His stories are unclassifiable. His novel TSCHICK, about two boys who 
go on an adventure in a stolen lada, is a road movie, a youth novel, 
adult literature and thriller all together. And above all: who gives a 
damn about the genre when you posses the power of telling a good story? 

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Wolfgang Herrndorf reads from TSCHICK

Francesco Romoli      

Yellowed family pictures combined with science fiction. 
People who slowly change into robots. Surrealistic townscapes 
that look like the interior of a gigantic showbox. The Italian artist 
FRANCESCO ROMOLI wants to create worlds that do not exist. 
Using technology from the graphic arts and photography and armed 
with his unbridled imagination he succeeds in making art that is 
both estranging and familiair.
More on Francesco Romoli 
Christopher Isherwood               

CABARET  (Bob Fosse), with Liza Minella as an unforgettable Sally Bowles, 
was a  major hit in the 70s. The movie was an adaptation of  the play based 
on the novels 'Goodbuy to Berlin' and 'Mr. Norris changes  trains' from the 
British-American writer Christopher Isherwood (1904 -  1986). His novel 
describes life in Berlin during the interwar period. In  these days a 
world-renowned gay subculture arose. There was an  unprecedented sexual 
freedom. At that time there were more gay bars in  Berlin then in New 
York in the 70s. In 2009, another adaptation for  screen of one of his 
novels drew attention: A SINGLE MAN (Tom Ford). And  a few years 
later the film version of his autobiography came out:  CHRISTOPHER 
AND HIS KIND (Geoffrey Sax). There is nothing against good  movie 
adaptations. But if you like these movies: at least READ Isherwood's books.


More on Christopher Isherwood
Interview Day and Night
Documentary Pt. 1

Paul McComas                              

Writers and artists who can not be pigeonholed: the American 
Paul McComas is one of them. His stories contain elements of 
the fantasy, horror and comedy genre. The vexing question 
whether it's mainstream or serious literature can happily be 
omitted. It's both, and yes: it exists.


More on Paul McComas
Paul McComas reads from: Unforgettable
Interview with Paul McComas

Cliff van Thillo                             

Welcome to the magical world of the illustrator Cliff van Thillo. 
Is this mother earth or planet XVI? Look, there in that immense 
abandoned factory he walks hand in hand with Jules Verne, 
accompanied by Max Ernst, Magritte and Fellini. 
They step on their unicycles and drive on a winding path over 
moss green hills to a godforsaken fairground. 
Allez hop!

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Andrzej Dragan     

"I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened"
David Lynch, Lost highway.

Andrzej Dragan is a quantum physicist, photographer and filmmaker, and has a unique style of photography and film making called the Dragan Effect. His purpose is to create such images that will trigger overreactivity of the organ that is responsible for the perception of faces and emotions related to that.
"I offer a faint portrayal of my perception of the reality"
  
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Othon                    

If one artist belongs in this gallery then it must be OTHON MATARAGAS. 
The art of this Greek pianist and composer originally was dark, theatrical and ominous, but has gradually developed into a versatile, colorful and uplifting experience. PAN Muzik, he calls it. For me this is music of hope and inspiration. Without leaving the pain and the dark side of life unnamed. Othon is the perfect antidote against infertile cynicism.


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Mary Wollstonecraft 

She loved the idea of a threesome. For instance with Henry Fuseli, 
the great painter of nightmarish scenes and his wife. Wich they rejected indignantly. MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT (1759 - 1797) was unconventional, to say the least. She was a writer, a philosopher and a feminist avant la lettre. Her most influential work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Eventually she married the radical philosopher William Godwin. Both emphasized that their marriage was not a concession to the prevailing morality, and that they were completely equal partners. Her daughter MARY SHELLY would come in her footsteps and reap fame as the writer of the gothic novel Frankenstein.

  
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Federico Fellini
                                                              
First there are the images, then the words. It’s no surprise that the 
movies are Gaby’s major influence. He love’s the films by Xavier 
Dolan, François Ozon, Roman Polanski and David Lynch. But 
FEDERICO FELLINI has influenced him most. Like Fellini he wants 
to create a slightly caricatural dream world that gives reality a brighter 
color. That does not deny the ruthlessness of life, but places it in a 
different light. And so typically Italian as Fellini's films are, so 
typically Dutch, is the setting in Gaby's stories. But he adds colors, 
and places tragic clowns in it. Dutch anti-heroes with panache. 
Outsiders who were bullied in the schoolyard as a kid. Because they 
have red hair. Because they don’t play football. Because they are boys 
who feel like a girl or vice versa. But they have rebounded. They go 
through life with their heads held high. They remember that statement 
of ballet legend Sonia Gaskell: If you fall, always make something 
of it.
Sander & Sandor 

A crooked world underneath a beautiful thin layer (Sander). Their pictures are colorful, with a wink to decadence and the underground pop culture. SANDER & SANDOR, lovers and business partners. Sander is in the photo technique and the big picture, while Sandor is doing the styling, make-up and focusses on the details. They lift each other to great heights, they say. They want to make the world a little more beautiful, but they don't avoid political statement. An example is their series: From Russia, With Love with images of beaten up gay and transgender people.

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Eiko Ishioka           

EIKO ISHIOKA (1938-2012) was a Japan born art director, costume and graphic designer. In her designs she brought along the Japanese tradition of the NO theater. Her creations are surreal, theatrical, over the top, but always effective and stylish. Her work was shown at the MoMa and she inspired fashion designers like Victor & Rolf. Her trophy cabinet was decorated with a Grammy award, two Tony awards and an Oscar. Who don't know her name, hath certainly seen her designs. She did the art direction of BJÖRK's video Cocoon and designed the costumes for GRACE JONES's Hurricane tour. She designed the fascinating costumes for Bram Stoker's Dracula (FRANCIS COPPOLA). Coppola said: the costumes are gonna be the sets, a perfect description of Eiko's work. Other films where she worked on include Tarsem Singh's The Cell, The Fall and The Immortals. Mirror Mirror would be her swan song. She died on January 21, 2012 of pancreatic cancer.

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Leonor Fini         

The Argentine-French artist LEONOR FINI (1908-1996) was unconventional and uncompromising. She gained a foothold in the male-dominated Surrealist movement. A female Dalì she was called. A nickname that does its deficit because she had her own unique style: sophisticated, pronounced erotic with references to death. Besides painter, she was also a designer of ballet and film productions, illustrator of bibliophile book editions (eg from Baudelaire, Sade, Verlaine, William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe) and wrote three novels. However she seemed to be more famous for her independent and free lifestyle than her art: traditional marriage meant nothing to her. She preferred a ménage à trois. After her death she fell into obscurity, but in recent years she regains recognition.

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Federico :  llanto por García Lorca (1992)      

In 1992, a small but beautiful poetic film portrait was released 
of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898 – 1936). The Dutch 
director MART VAN DEN BERG made the film with minimal 
resources and with the help of many volunteers. The film follows 
Federico during crucial moments in his life: the death of his lover, the 
bullfighter Ignacio Sanchez Mejias, the relationship with his mother 
and his assassination by Franco's Phalangists.

Photography: Liesbeth Ruysink

Watch the movie
Confusion of the Struggle - Izaak P. Slagt

Like no one Isaac P Slagt makes with his photographs feelings visible that 
are below the surface. An excellent example is Confusion of the Struggle, 
a series of intimate nude portraits of trans woman Lisa van Ginneken. In 
this series she is still in the intermediate stage, before surgery and during 
hormone treatment. Isaak is close to her heart when he captures her 
diverse emotions: joy, despair and euphoria. As never before it is tangible 
for an outsider what a transgender is going through. Confrontational, 
sensitive and moving.

More on Izaak P. Slagt
Confusion of the Struggle


Trans*Tapes - The Transketeers

Six beautiful, poignant and very diverse portraits of transgender people. 
Trans*Tapes have undeniable emancipatory value, but there is more. 
With their personal approach The Transketeers penetrate the soul of the 
people they interview. That the filmmakers are also transgender helps, 
of course, but it is clear that all their respect and attention focusses on 
the interviewees and they let them fully in their value. Then you get a gem 
like this.

The Transketeers is a Dutch collective of three transmen making audio-
visual productions: Jonah Lamers, Bart Peters en Chris Rijksen.

Trans*Tapes


Nynke Laverman

Frisian is a poetic language. That is proved by NYNKE LAVERMAN and her song art. For years she successfully combines Frisian texts with southern sounds: fado and flamenco. The sturdy Frisian appears to hide unfathomable deep emotions which are conjured up by her music with gusto. Viva Nynke! En mei har sjongt de Fryske taal.

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Jherek Bischoff

Versatility is an understatement with multi-instrumentalist, composer 
and performer JHEREK BISSCHOF. As an arranger he has worked 
with indie pop bands like The Parenthetical Girls and Xiu Xiu. As a 
composer, he has released several albums that have been realized in a 
quirky way. His album Composed, he first played on the ukulele and then 
he mixed the classical instruments one by one to an orchestra. His latest 
album Cistern is recorded in the huge Dan Harpole Cistern at Fort Worden 
State Park. An underground basin which was originally intended as a water 
storage for a nearby military base. Specifically, the reverberation in the 
water basin of at least 45 seconds must have had its impact on the 
recording process.

How can you describe his style? it's a pleasant no man's land between 
classical, ambient and the orchestral baroque pop style of bands like 
The Divine Comedy. Bischoff is also called a "pop polymath" and 
"the missing link between the somber overtones of Ennio Morricone 
and the unpredictability of John Cale." Anyway, this self-taught 
undisputable is an original voice in contemporary music land. His music 
definitely deserves more attention than it gets so far. Let yourself be 
inspired by the sound world of this likable music fool.

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Dragqueens      

They are an inspiration for one of the main characters of the novel in the making REUNION: drag queens. The novel is about revenge, bullying and its consequences, but could equally be a tribute to the drag queen.

The picture includes: John Kelly, Lavinia, Ulrich, Ryan Burke, miss Guy and Ellen van Ellende.

Božo Vrećo

In 2013, singer Božo Vrećo took a big risk. In his country, Bosnia, 
where machismo reigns supreme, he came after the break during 
a concert in Sarajevo on stage in a dress... and enchanted everyone 
with his wonderful voice. It is as if God had placed an angel into his 
throat. He chose to be himself in representing male and female, both
visually and in his music that is deeply rooted in the traditional 
Bosnian melancholic Sevdah. He has convinced his audience, macho 
or not. He is now one of the most celebrated stars of Bosnia.

More on Božo Vrećo
Božo Vrećo on YouTube

Journey to the end of the night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

For a long time I've been putting this novel far away: Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit) by LOUIS-FERDINAND CÉLINE. I read it once in a Dutch translation with beautiful illustrations by Jacques Tardi. I was in my mid-twenties and could not get through. The bleak and dreary view on humanity in this novel nauseated me at that age. Last night I saw on YouTube an old documentary about Céline from the Dutch writer Gerard Reve (1923-2006) which made me curious again. I took the book from the shelf and immediately I was captivated by the vivid language. In the documentary, Reve said he had learned and adopted a lot from Celine. I can understand that. In the expressive style I see similarities.
For everything there is a time in your life and maybe it's now time for me to (re) read Journey to the End of the Night.

Voyage au bout de la nuit,  Erik Lieshout et Gerard Reve (Dutch)
Pink Narcissus by James Bidgood

For seven years JAMES BODGOOD worked on the film PINK NARCISSUS (1963-1970) whose images were almost entirely filmed in the New York apartment of the director and photographer. However, the financial backers had lost their patience and the film was edited without Bidgood. He didn't approve of the release and out of protest he let his name be removed from the credits. Long time it was unclear who the director was. Some even thought to see the hand of Andy Warhol in the movie. In 1984 at last it became clear that James Bidgood was the director. Meanwhile, the film had become a cult classic.

What makes this film so influential? Not the flimsy story: a beautiful young male prostitute (Bobby Kendall) is, like Narcissus, completely obsessed with his reflection. Fantasizing he sees himself as a central figure in all sorts of exotic and mythological scenes. He dreams himself a bullfighter, a Roman slave and a faun.

It is not so much the story that appeals to the imagination, but the images. Which are sensual, dreamlike and shot in bright colors. They are like paintings with a kitschy but seductive quality that have come to life. That aspect: gay erotica in a dreamlike bright coloured and kitschy setting would make school and would have great influence on artists such as Pierre et Gilles, David LaChapelle and the film director Pedro Almodóvar.

Interview with director and photographer James Bidgood
Rose Macaulay

Dame ROSE MACAULAY, (August 1, 1881, Rugby, Warwickshire, England - October 30, 1958, London) is an English author of novels, biographies and travel stories who was widely praised in her time for her acumen, sharp observations, wit and erudition. She was no ordinary woman: first she wanted to be a naval officer, but then she sets her sights on a writing career. She was an ardent feminist who never married but she had a long affair with the Irish priest and writer Gerald O'Donovan. The gender issue intrigued her, just like her fellow writer Virginia Woolf. She was physically androgynous, but also in her ideas and her work she represented both male and female. She was religious, but she had very liberal ideas which she certainly did not hide.
Her best-known work is the novel The Towers of Trebizond (1956). Three eccentric English people are traveling through Turkey, partly by camel, from Istanbul to the fabled Trebizond. The trip has two purposes: to empower the Turkish woman and the conversion of the people to the Anglican faith. Humor prevails in this work but there is also an undercurrent of intense heartbreak.

More on Rose Macaulay

Conrad Veidt

Movies from the Weimar era are not rarely fascinating. Think of Metropolis 
or Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler from Fritz Lang.  Some have expressionistic and 
beautiful decors such as Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920) 
directed by Robert Wiene. In the last movie, the pacifistic ideas from 
scriptwriters Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer are reflected in the figure of 
Caligari. He is a symbol of the emerging  fascism and the crowd who is 
uncritically following a strong leader. The call for a strong leader is very 
present-day.

One of the main actors of Das Kabinett Des Doktor Caligari is CONRAD 
VEIDT (1893 - 1943). His personalization of the physically handicapped 
Gwynplaine in Theman who laughs (Paul Leni, 1928) would write history. 
The film isbased on the novel L'homme qui rit by Victor  Hugo. 
Gwynplaine has a permanent grin smile, brought to him by Comprachicos. 
These nomads, invented by Victor Hugo, deformed children physically 
from a young age to let them work at freak shows. The grinning 
Gwynplaine would later be a key inspiration for comic bookwriter Bill 
Finger and artists Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson in creating Batman's 
biggest enemy, The Joker.

Conrad Veidt has another special role in his name: Anders als die Andern (1919) by Magnus Hirschfeld in which he plays
the role of gay violinist Paul Körner. This is one of the first films in which homosexuality is positively portrayed, despite it's bad ending. The story was in fact a charge against the Legislative Act, Paragraph 175, which deals with the prohibition of sex between men.

In 1933, he and his Jewish wife Ilona Prager went to Britain, fleeing the Nazi regime. In 1941, they moved to Hollywood where he played in a number of movies. Ironically, he was often typecast as a Nazi agent. His best-known role was that of the sinister Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca (1942). He died of a heart attack in 1943 at the age of 50.

More on Conrad Veidt
How a 1928 Silent Film Influenced the Creation of the Joker