View Full Version : 'Born Villain' Art: ''The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari'

04-30-2012, 10:32 AM
I'm not really sure if this constitutes a thread or not as it's literally just comparing the cover picture and MM logo to some stills from said film.

So as I was looking at the Born Villain cover I was reminded of the character Cesare from the German expressionist film “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari".
His makeup, the position of his hair in the photograph and even the blue hue (which was the colour code only used for scenes set at night), all bear a striking resemblance to stills of the character.

I’m not going to go into the whole synopsis of the film but regarding Cesare, he is the unwilling monster of the film as he is under hypnosis by Dr Caligari to commit acts of murder in the night, one of them being a beautiful young woman whom he manages to spare and kidnap.

Apart from the obvious tie of being the villain of the story I can’t find any other links towards this film and any lyrics in Born Villain. You could interpret the line, “Don’t assume that I’m always with you, it’s just where my mortal body happens to be”, as referring to someone who’s actions are under someone else’s control like Cesare but I don’t think this is Manson’s intention and if you’re searching for a specific meaning then you can usually extract it out of anything.
Here are photo comparisons…

I can't find any examples of the expressionist style writing that I wanted to compare with the MM logo but as you can see from another still of the film, the design seems to take its roots from German expressionism.

04-30-2012, 12:53 PM
I agree. The color scheme even has the same tones as some of the DVD releases of Caligari (though the DVD designs are of course arbitrary when considering expressionism). The text does resemble the expressionist intertitles of the film as well. Though, I mostly get this feeling from the back cover, even though the image of Manson's face resembles the somnambulist, there is something about the I-ching influence in the "Marilyn Manson" that seems to negate this. I more lean toward the "Kabuki theater" reference, which ironically enough is also considered in early film styles, particular in the writings of Eisenstein.

04-30-2012, 03:28 PM
I wonder if Manson reads this site and chuckles (no reason) to himself about all the hidden meanings everyone sees in the cover.

04-30-2012, 05:26 PM
I'm sure he chuckles at the thought of someone thinking a piece of art is not linked to what came before it.

A Better Messiah
05-01-2012, 04:46 AM
Woah. This clicked immediately when I saw the Thread title. Had I just read "Born Villain Art Symbolism" I probably would have scoffed, but this makes a lot of sense to me. Considering how great a fan of cinema and German culture Manson has expressed himself over the years, it wouldn't be all that surprising to me.