36TH OLYMPIA FILM FESTIVAL: INVINCIBLE CZARS PRESENT THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
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SATURDAY, APRIL 18 – 36th Olympia Film Festival
INVINCIBLE CZARS PRESENT
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
A LIVE SCORE
9:00pm doors / 10:00pm show
$15 general admission / $12 OFS
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the German silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920 F.W. Murnau), Austin’s most adventurous band, The Invincible Czars, have created their own tastefully modern score for the picture. As part of their 2019-2020 season, they will perform the music live with the movie across the Western US and Canada.
Dr. Caligari is one of the silent era’s most beloved and enigmatic works. It considered by many to be the first German Expressionist film and the first great motion picture in the horror genre. It is the first movie to incorporate surrealistic production in such and all-encompassing way with quirky sets, angular shadows and creepy make-up.
It tells the story of a mysterious traveler who arrives in a small village to showcase his Somnabulist (sleepwalker) in the local fair. Shortly thereafter, a series of murders lead the narrator, Franzis, and his friends to believe Dr. Caligari and his sleepwalking assistant may be responsible but something’s not quite right and the conclusion is quite surprising for 100 year old movie.
Fans, theaters and media have praised The Invincible Czars for making near century-old movies “actually scary” and more enjoyable for modern day audiences. The scores and their performance of it complements the tone and emotion on-screen at any given moment. The band employs a mix of acoustic, electric and synthesized instruments including violin, glockenspiel, organ, vocals, loops, electric guitar, bass. It’s quite a sight to behold when performed live by only four players!
The band has borrowed music from classical composers for past scores and Caligari is the first time they’ve strayed from that formula. It’s also their most collaborative work in nearly decade with contributions from each of the group’s touring line-up and their co-composer Henry Q Vines.
Since the departure of the band’s permanent winds player in 2017, they’ve toured with various stand-ins. This year they’ve opted to fill the four chair with keyboardist/guitarist Skunk Manhattan. Skunk leads his own band (A Good Rogering) and plays second guitar for Austin metal workers Runescarred – a band for which Czars’ Czar Josh Robins plays bass. With his synthesizer, Skunk adds sounds like bassoon, vibraphone and (you guessed it) flute to ensemble’s live sound palette and the additional keyboard has freed the guitar up to play more melodic lines.
The rest of the ensemble is as usual – Phil Davidson on violin, glockenspiel and some keyboards; Aaryn Russell on bass guitar; Josh Robins on guitar, percussion and samples.
Dir: Robert Wiene / 1920 / Germany / 74 min