the cabinet of dr caligari (with minima)

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

A couple of weeks ago, me and three friends went along to Hackney Attic (top floor of the wonderful Hackney Picturehouse – where I happened to take The Girl to see the brilliant Avengers Assemble yesterday) to see a one-off showing of 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.

This featured a live score by 4 man band Minima.

The film itself is often thought of as one of the most influential horror movies.  It is a lesson in German expressionism – the sets are all highly stylized, with a lot of sharp, jagged buildings and furniture, disproportionate sets and backdrops that were painted on canvas.

The actors also often played their roles in a rather odd and jerky manner (think the Smirnoff Judderman advert) and I read that it is believed to have introduced the twist ending in film.

Obviously these days, watching such an old film, a lot of the melodrama and horror and over-acting seems rather amusing in places, but it doesn’t detract from a solid tale, and some truly iconic scenes and memorable moments.

This was completely enhanced by Minima’s score.  i had never heard of Minima before, but I will certainly be looking out for them in the future – they were amazing.  This definitely wasn’t your usual silent film score.  They’re funky, and definitely more of a rock band, but the atmosphere they injected into the film was truly outstanding.

Minima consist of an electric guitar, drums, bass, and the necessary spooky cello – and you wouldn’t believe such a wide-range of moods and sounds could be emitted from such a tiny number of instruments…they were fantastic.

The film for this month is Piccadilly (which I had never heard of, let alone seen!) again at Hackney Attic on the 20th and will have a live score by Igor Outkine on the accordian.  I will probably be going!

I will leave you with a clip.


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