Classic movies in music videos: Otherside by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

This is July’s edition of Comet Over Hollywood’s film references in music videos.

The 1920 German silent film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” is the story of Francis recalling his memory of a carnival show. Dr. Caligari has a somnambulist Cesare who wakes up during the act. When Cesare is going to stab Francis’s fiancee, he kidnaps her instead. The film ends with an odd twist.

Scene from "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920)

A scene from “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920)

The video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers single “Otherside” from 2000 was influenced by the 1920 film starring Conrad Veidt.

“I was on a crazy sleeping schedule, and I saw this movie on TV and I saw this movie that looked so bizarre,” bassist Michael “Flea” Balzary said in an interview. “It stuck in my mind, and I wanted to make a rock movie to me.”

Caligari’s German Expressionism art style was the inspiration for the video, but the plot is not used within the video.

Filmed in black and white, the video was modeled after German Expressionism, they used Cubism and M.C. Escher artwork, said video director Jonathan Dayton.

“We did look at Caligari, and we looked at a lot of German Expressionist film,” Dayton said. But it was also very important to avoid ‘Caligari.’ It was both inspiration and something to work around, because it has such a strong, specific style, and there have been other videos that have completely ripped it off.”

Check back next month for August’s classic film in music videos.

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2 thoughts on “Classic movies in music videos: Otherside by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

    • It had been a long time since I had seen it-and it was before I had seen Dr. Caligari. I just thought it was weird haha. Thank you for stopping by!


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