Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will be screened and accompanied by live music
For those interested in getting into the spirit of Halloween a little early, the Cinéclub Film Society of Montreal has a solution. On Oct. 7 and 8, the Cinéclub will be screening a double feature of Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Be warned: this is not a normal vintage screening. While the Cinéclub usually holds screenings at Concordia’s downtown campus, this event will be held at the Gothic-style W. P. United Church in Westmount. Each screening will feature live music, including a cello, piano and theremin. Period costumes will also be on hand for the purists, along with popcorn and drinks. In keeping with the Cinéclub’s tradition, both films will be projected onto a screen.
The silent films being showcased are two hallmarks of German expressionism as well as cornerstones of the horror genre. Nosferatu (1922), directed by the great F. W. Murnau, is the vampire movie. Considered to be the first vampire film ever made, Nosferatu is known for its use of shadows. Count Orlok’s shadow moving up a staircase is one of cinemas most iconic scenes.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), directed by Robert Wiene, tells the story of the psychopathic Dr. Caligari, the director of an insane asylum who hypnotizes sleepwalkers into killing victims. While Nosferatu is known for its vampires and striking shadows, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari features incredible set design. The film has more of a resemblance to a series of gothic paintings than to a modern-day horror movie. The camera captures the many shadows painted on the sets, creating some of the most memorable expressionistic visuals to come out of the horror genre. Both films will be presented with English intertitles.
The Cinéclub Film Society is dedicated to preserving Montreal’s film culture. The group has been active in the city since 1992 and, in association with the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, they screen classic films throughout the year. The group is one of the last outlets for Montreal cinephiles to experience film on actual film, as colloid projections become increasingly difficult to find. Anyone interested in attending this or any of the Cinéclub Film Society’s events is guaranteed to have a one-of-a-kind experience not found in the average cinema.
The W.P. United Church is located at 4695 de Maisonneuve West, near Vendome metro. Tickets cost $14 ($9 for students) and can be purchased online or at the door. The screenings start at 7:30 p.m. but event organizers recommend arriving early, as the church pews fill up fast. You can visit the Cinéclub Film Society’s website for more information.