The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with Live Musical Accompaniment


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
(Das cabinet des Dr. Caligari)
Germany 1919. Dir: Robert Wiene. 70 min.

Robert Wiene’s legendary landmark of Expressionism revolutionized German film and cinema art, and remains one of the creepiest of all horror movies — as anyone who has ever stumbled across its preternatural images flickering on late-night TV can attest! A tour de force of nightmarish art direction — the grotesque sets and costumes are by the painters and designers of the Der Sturm Expressionist group — The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari recounts the fantastical story of a sinister fairground hypnotist and the somnambulist he uses to do his deadly bidding. Its paranoia-filled tale of monstrous authoritarianism and madness has provided a wealth of material for historians probing the dark psyche of Weimar Germany; the film is famously cited by Siegfried Kracauer, in From Caligari to Hitler, as one of Weimar cinema’s first premonitions of Hitler’s tyranny.

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For nearly a century, the jagged shadows of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari have swept across screens and imaginations the world over. For Mark Oliver, the Vancouver-born grandson of one of its original producers, Caligari is much more than a film; it is a family heirloom. Our special screening of this horror masterpiece will be accompanied by a live musical performance by the Oliver-Film Ensemble. Mr. Oliver — who is directing an upcoming documentary, UFA Man, about his grandfather, the film mogul David Oliver — will introduce the evening and share some of his recent discoveries about Caligari’s mysterious origins.

The musicians of the Oliver-Film Ensemble are Matt O’Donnell, Daniel Ruiz, Marc Wild, Vi-An Diep, and Justin Patterson.

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Regular ticket prices in effect.
All ages welcome. Not suitable for younger children.
Annual membership requirement ($3) in effect for those 18+