Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Portrait paintings come alive to the horror of the old bookshop owner

A supposed meeting went pffft! tonight which suits me just fine since I got to experience watching a silent film in the big screen! Yeah baby! Unheimliche Geschichten wasn't just any silent film it's a previously lost German silent film from 1919 that was recently found and restored to a very good condition. I previously saw the ad in the paper tucked away in some corner of the entertainment page some days ago and it was a good thing that the meeting was cancelled too (though I have to feel bad it had to happen). The event happened in one cinema of the Podium mall and there was even cocktail served by Burgoo and the bohemian crowd were composed of foreigners, some old people, and art enthusiasts. I had two rounds of sausages, fish fillets, and chicken popcorn to go with the white wine which was recommended by the server.

Scene from Edgar Allan Poe's classic story "The Black Cat"

The film started around 7:30 with some short introductions by the director of the Goethe Institute along with veteran actress Boots Anson-Roa. The accompanying music was provided by a jazz band (which turned out to be a sleeper). The title of the film translates into "Horror Stories" and Director Richard Oswald was touted to be ahead of his time for introducing a horror genre in films inspired by the famous writers of that time like Edgar Allan Poe. The five stories in the film included some of Mr. Poe's work and some stories which have passed on to the present in the form of urban legends. One outstanding feature of the fim was that in all five stories the main characters were played by only three actors (those pictured above). The movie finished around 9 pm and some members of the audience stuck around in the cinema lobby along with their friends probably to talk about the film. All I could think of after finishing the movie was that the experiment of using jazz music to accompany a silent film was a failure. They should have stuck to piano and ragtime music. But it was a very good experience, one I would like to repeat if they showed those kinds of films in the big screen again.

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