Capítulo I _ Cinema – Arte

The aesthetic fascination of the negative character. From expressionist monsters to Breaking Bad

Marcos Jiménez González
Universidad a Distancia de Madrid, España


The representation of a negative character as the central axis of the story seems to have become popular since the premiere of Breaking Bad (2008-2013). The classic division between a protagonist who is a positive object of representation is followed by a story whose main character has negative narrative connotations. Despite having become widespread in recent years, it is a scheme that already existed in the cinema and in literature and that we, as viewers, have already seen in films of such a standing as The Godfather (1972), among others.
This lecture aims to glimpse the historical origin of the figure of the negative or perverse character in the cinema and, for this, we will go back to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, in which serials such as Fantômas (1913) worked on the big screen and influenced the expressionist monsters of the 1920s, such as Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu or Dr. Mabuse.
By analyzing this cinema, the reasons why these characters arouse aesthetic fascination will be studied; In other words, the reasons why evil has aesthetic appeal in works of art will be investigated. Thus, we will ask ourselves why the Machiavellian characters are aesthetically admired, while morally they are rejected. This requires a reflection on the separation of aesthetic judgment and moral judgment, in the way that Schiller did, and the adaptation of that split to the present, making the aforementioned journey through the history of cinema.

Palavras-chave Estética do cinema, Monstros expressionistas, Friedrich Schiller, The Godfather, Breaking Bad.
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