|Out on:||VOD 1st March 2022|
ARROW WANT YOU TO TAKE THE TEST
IN MARCH, PREMIERES A DELICIOUSLY DARK THRILLER, FEMALE FILMMAKERS, FRITZ LANG AND JESS FRANCO!
ARROW is now available on Xbox
Key highlights this MARCH on the essential, alternative streaming service ARROW include the exclusive premiere of the superbly dark Hollywood-set thriller THE BETA TEST, a celebration of British women behind the camera, a look at the dark side of Tinseltown, as well as more VINEGAR SYNDROME, seasons from German auteur FRITZ LANG and prolific king of low budget erotic horror JESS FRANCO, and much much more...
In March, ARROW premieres THE BETA TEST, an outlandish, sexy and darkly funny mystery thriller from the multi-talented indie triple threats Jim Cummings and PJ McCabe. Set in the cutthroat world of Hollywood agents, our hero is stressed out at work, his agency is in a rut, and his marriage plans are a massive distraction to signing a big new client. Then, an anonymous invitation drops into his letterbox, the agent is lured into a mysterious world of anonymous infidelity, and all hell breaks loose. The film features a terrific lead performance from co-writer and co-director Cummings (behind 2018’s SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner Thunder Road) who Empire describe as “magnetic”. Smartly scripted, totally unpredictable and strangely moving and erotic, THE BETA TEST is delightfully unclassifiable and massively entertaining, skewering a post-Weinstein panicking Hollywood with tremendously enjoyable glee. Take THE BETA TEST immediately - you won’t regret it.
Also in March, to celebrate the premiere of THE BETA TEST, a season of films a collection of films that also feature beleaguered protagonists doing whatever it takes to get ahead in showbiz, including MAN UNDER TABLE, IVANSXTC, THE EL DUCE TAPES, and CLAPBOARD JUNGLE.
Also in March, THE FRITZ LANG COLLECTION, showcasing the work of the genius director’s films from both his German period and his Hollywood career, some well-known and highly influential and some less seen and ripe for reexploration and rediscovery, including METROPOLIS, DR MABUSE THE GAMBLER, and THE TESTAMENT OF DR MABUSE.
Don’t miss NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT: THE JESS FRANCO COLLECTION, a collection of films that push the boundaries of taste and decency in all the best and most fun ways, by a filmmaker who made maybe more than 180 films, pumping out as many sexploitation, horror and sexploitation-horror films as he was able and allowed to. The films include OASIS OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE AWFUL DR ORLOF, and NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT.
In March, ARROW celebrate the work of BRITISH WOMEN FILMMAKERS, with a season of films from the cream of the crop of female directors, including Joanna Hogg’s ARCHIPELAGO, Andrea Arnold’s BAFTA-winning drama FISH TANK, starring Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender, Shaun Thomas in Clio Barnard’s extraordinary THE SELFISH GIANT, and Sally Potter’s acclaimed coming-of-age film GINGER AND ROSA.
ALSO SHOWING: A selection of films from CLAUDE CHABROL; CRIMSON, starring Eurocult icon Paul Naschy; BLACK MAGIC RITES from Italian cult director Renato Polselli; celluloid oddities rescued from oblivion by VINEGAR SYNDROME; influential sci-fi comedy DARK STAR; silent cinema classics, and more.
MARCH RELEASE CALENDAR
New Titles – From March 1
● Black Magic Rites
● Dark Star
● Dr Jekyll’s Mistress
● Female Vampire
● Nightmares Come at Night
● Oasis of the Living Dead
● The Awful Dr Orloff
● The Sadistic Baron von Klaus
● A Virgin Among the Living Dead
● Eugenie de Sade
New Titles – From March 7
● Hollywood Horror House
● Night Owl
● The Corruption of Chris Miller
● Star Time
New Titles - From March 8
● Fish Tank
● The Selfish Giant
● Ginger & Rosa
New Titles – From March 11
● The Beta Test
New Titles – From March 14
● The Testament of Dr Mabuse
● Dr Mabuse the Gambler
● To Sleep So As to Dream
New Titles – From March 18
● Cop au vin
● Inspector Lavardin
New Titles – From March 21
● The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
● The Golem
● From Caligari to Hitler
● The Hands of Orlac
New Seasons this March
FROM MARCH 1st:
Nightmares Come At Night: The Jess Franco Collection
A filmmaker as notorious as his output, Jess (Jesús) Franco made at least 173, and maybe more than 180, films and was a workaholic pumping out as many sexploitation, horror and sexploitation-horror films as he was able and allowed to. Most often working with little to no money, Franco is famous for recycling actors and footage in his productions, to the extent where cast members would be surprised to see themselves and their name crop up in another one or two films atop the one they were actually hired for, and his fans would recognise footage in his latest feature from one of his previous ones!
So kick back and prepare to binge a collection of films that push the boundaries of taste and decency in all the best and most fun ways and will leave you easily able to spot any of his 169 other films a mile away.
Titles include: Oasis of the Living Dead, The Awful Dr Orlof, Nightmares Come at Night, Eugenie De Sade, The sadist Baron von Klaus
Vinegar Syndrome Collection Vol 2
Vol. 1 was so good and so much fun, there was no way we weren’t going to be bringing you more brilliant and bonkers Vinegar Syndrome titles, and Vol. 2 features more underground genre films that will have you questioning your sanity, high-fiving your TV, or both!
Titles include: Night Owl, Hollywood Horror House, Star Time, Deadline
March 7 - British Women Filmmakers
As part of International Women's Day, come and celebrate the work of four fantastic female filmmakers who are responsible for a quartet of some of the best in modern British cinema: Sundance winner Joanna Hogg; BAFTA and Oscar winner Andrea Arnold; Cannes winner Clio Barnard; and Berlin Film Festival winner Sally Potter.
ARCHIPELAGO, written and directed by Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), is a Scilly Isles set family drama which stars Kate Fahy (Defiance) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki); while American Honey writer-director Andrea Arnold's unflinching look at broken Britain, Fish Tank, stars Katie Jarvis (Rise of the Footsoldier: Origins) and Michael Fassbender (Shame).
The writer and director of Dark River, Clio Barnard adapts Oscar Wilde's short story intended for children, THE SELFISH GIANT, into a grim story of two young working-class boys taken under the wing of a local scrap metal dealer that shines a light on the poverty endured by many in Britain.
GINGER AND ROSAA is written and directed by Sally Potter (Orlando) and stars Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon) and Alice Englert (The Power of the Dog) as inseparable teenage friends coming of age beneath the shadow of history.
Powerful, character-driven dramas, these four films by four of Great Britain's great female filmmakers are not old-fashioned, buttoned-up costume dramas portraying a genteel and golden England-Ireland-Scotland-Wales, but direct, sometimes damning and always enthralling focusses on what life is really like in Britain and our best and worst qualities.
Titles include: Fish Tank, The Selfish Giant, Ginger and Rosa
March 11 - The Dark Side of Hollywood
Scrape away the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown and lurking beneath it are a lot of desperate people who will do absolutely ANYTHING to make it. To celebrate the launch of Jim Cummings' incredible satirical movie business and beyond exposé, The Beta Test, we have put together a collection of films that also feature protagonists on the edge who must face being pushed, jumping themselves, or not even realising they've gone too far until it's too late, in order to get where they want to be in the business of show.
Titles include: The Beta Test, Man Under Table, Ivansxtc, The El Duce Tapes, Clapboard Jungle
March 14 - Master of Darkness: The Fritz Lang Collection
Nicknamed “Master of Darkness” by the British Film Institute for a retrospective in 2000, Fritz Lang was indeed a genius when it came to expressionistic wielding of light and shadow, but he was also a connoisseur of capturing the darkness in his films’ subject matter and in the hearts of the characters that populated them. ARROW are proud to present a collection of Fritz Lang’s films from both his German period and his Hollywood career, some well-known and highly influential and some less seen and ripe for reexploration and rediscovery.
Titles include: Metropolis, Dr Mabuse the Gambler, Hangmen Also Die (UK/IRE only), Secrets Beyond the Door (UK/IRE only)
March 18 - Lies & Deceit: The Films of Claude Chabrol
Too often overlooked and undervalued, Claude Chabrol was the first of the Cahiers du Cinema critics to release a feature film and would be among the most prolific. The sneaky anarchist of the French New Wave, he embraced genre as a means of lifting the lid on human nature. Nothing is sacred and nothing is certain in the films of Claude Chabrol: anything can be corrupted, and usually will be.
Titles include: Cop Au Vin, Inspector Lavardin, Madame Bovary, Betty
March 21 - Dead Silent
Dead Silent showcases cinematic masterpieces from the pre-sound era of movies, when filmmakers could blow minds and scare off socks with not a single scream or sound effect.
Titles include: Metropolis, Dr Mabuse the Gambler, Nosferatu
MARCH TITLES - IN DEPTH
EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE MARCH 11th:
THE BETA TEST
OFFICIAL TRAILER COMING SOON
The Player meets Black Mirror in Jim Cumming's (Thunder Road) acclaimed thriller. A soon-to-be married Hollywood agent receives a mysterious letter inviting him to an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lies, infidelity and murder. The Beta Test is a stylish yet scathing satire of preening toxic masculinity, the dangers of technology, and the hollowness of Hollywood success.
MARCH 1: CRIMSON
Eurocult icon Paul Naschy stars as a criminal gang leader who undergoes a head transplant, which results in him being even more dangerous and murderous than before.
MARCH 1: BLACK MAGIC RITES
Filled with psychedelic '70s style by Italian cult director Renato Polselli (Delirium), this satanic shocker pulses with violently erotic energy, and is a must see for horror aficionados. In a mountaintop castle, devil worshippers hunt down virgins and cut out their hearts to restore life to their Great Mistress Isabella (Rita Calderoni), a witch who was burned to death centuries before. The castle is purchased by the unwitting Jack Nelson (Mickey Hargitay, former husband of Jayne Mansfield), whose niece Laureen (also played by Rita Calderoni) bears a striking resemblance to Mistress Isabella. Drawn into the cult's evil orbit, Laureen is targeted as the final sacrifice in order to restore Isabella's terrifying power.
MARCH 1: DARK STAR
In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.
MARCH 1: DR JEKYLL’S MISTRESS
A mad scientist creates a hideous monster to carry out his murderous plans.
MARCH 1: FEMALE VAMPIRE
Channeling his deepest libidinal desires and darkest fears into films, with no apparent concern for narrative convention or the boundaries of mainstream taste, Jess Franco is a cinematic iconoclast. And Franco was never better than when working with his wife, Lina Romay (1954-2012), a haunted waif who would go to any extreme to assure that the director's wildest imaginings were brought to the screen without compromise. Their most highly regarded collaboration, Female Vampire stars Romay as the mysterious Countess Irina Karlstein, a beautiful vampiress who feeds on victims at their moments of sexual climax. Because she destroys those whose essence she consumes, Irina is doomed to a life of solitude, wandering through the Western Coast of Europe in a dreamlike state, shrouded in a lush musical score by Daniel White.
MARCH 1: NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT
For years considered a lost Franco film (after having played at a single theatre in Belgium), Nightmares Come At Night (Les cauchemars naissent la nuit) was rediscovered in 2004 and has been recognized as a key film in the evolution of Franco's cinema, which in 1970 was assuming a dreamlike logic, governed more by the director's libido than traditional horror movie structure. Diana Lorys (The Awful Dr. Orlof) stars as a sultry dancer who falls under the hypnotic control of the sinister blonde Cynthia (Colette Giacobine) and begins to suffer terrifying hallucinations, from which not even a gifted psychiatrist (Paul Muller) can save her. Meanwhile, a pair of jewel thieves (Soledad Miranda and Jack Taylor) hide out at a nearby house, biding their time until they can confront Cynthia for their share of a recent heist.
MARCH 1: OASIS OF THE LIVING DEAD
Once established as a master of the Euro-erotic horror film, Jess Franco continued to explore more traditional modes of filmmaking, setting familiar genres on their ears with his singular brand of reckless creativity. Made during the living dead craze of the early 1980s, Oasis of the Zombies is one of only a handful of motion pictures to explore a most peculiar subgenre of the movement: the Nazi zombie film. In telling the story of a cache of German gold—lost in the desert, sought by a group of teenagers, protected by the walking dead—Franco demonstrated his characteristic lack of restraint, shamelessly inserting stock footage from a bigger-budget war picture, allowing his camera to dwell on the worm-eaten orifices of the shriveled undead and, of course, lacing the action with his trademark style of lyrical eroticism. The resulting film is a decadent exercise in grindhouse filmmaking that is more audacious than frightening, illuminating one of the more peculiar facets of Jess Franco's uniquely warped cinema.
MARCH 1: THE AWFUL DR ORLOF
Generally considered the first horror film produced in Spain, The Awful Dr Orlof (L'horrible Docteur Orlof) launched the career of cult cinema's most colorful figure: Jesus "Jess" Franco. Cloaking the story in the visual style of the British gothic film, Franco injected Orlof with the kind of morbid eroticism that would quickly become his signature (and is presented here in the uncensored French release version). Howard Vernon stars as a diabolical surgeon who, with the help of his blind minion Morpho (Ricardo Valle), lures beautiful women into the operating room of his stone castle, so they may provide the raw materials for a series of experimental face grafts for his disfigured daughter.
MARCH 1: THE SADIST BARON VON KLAUS
In this follow-up to his ground-breaking horror film The Awful Dr. Orlof, Jess Franco (Female Vampire, A Virgin Among the Living Dead) continued to lay the foundation of a career defined by fetishistic imagery and transgressive violence. A series of grisly murders in the remote village of Holfen convinces the locals that the town is still cursed by the spirit of a 17th-century baron who maintained an elaborate torture chamber in the dungeon of his estate. Undaunted by the villagers' superstitions, a detective (Georges Rollin) quickly focuses his investigation upon the creepy Max Von Klaus (Howard Vernon). Meanwhile, the youngest male descendent of the Von Klaux bloodline (Hugo Blanco) returns home to mourn the death of his mother, and must wrestle with his own connection to the cursed family history. The Sadist Baron Von Klaus occupies a significant stage in Franco's evolution as a filmmaker. On one hand, it is a well-produced thriller in the European style (the influence of Carol Reed's The Third Man is apparent throughout). But Franco is clearly interested in stepping outside convention to innovate something of his own, as evidenced by the newly-restored torture dungeon sequence - which cult film historian Tim Lucas (Video Watchdog) called, "horror cinema's first sequence of 100-proof erotic horror." It is a sequence that is shocking even today and was, in 1962, an omen of diabolical things to come.
MARCH 1: A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD
Following the death of her father, a young girl visits her estranged family at their sinister castle in the countryside, and comes to realize her eccentric and morbid relatives are not quite alive.
MARCH 1: EUGENIE DE SADE
Eugenie, a beautiful but shy young girl, has been living with her stepfather, Albert since her mother died when she was a baby. He is a famous writer specializing in stories of erotica. One day she happens to read one of his "erotic" books and its power so affects her that begins to find herself sexually attracted to him. He notices this, and eventually brings her into his dark world of sexual perversion and murder.
MARCH 1: DEMONIAC
A gang of pirates rape the two sole survivors of a ship wreck. The violated girls are rescued by the strange inhabitants of a supposedly haunted island, where they are granted supernatural powers to strike revenge against the pirates.
MARCH 7: DEADLINE
Steven Lessey (Stephen Young, Soylent Green, Patton) makes his living as a horror writer who has learned that the bloodier the story, the bigger the market. But Steven has also hit a personal crisis wherein he yearns for artistic recognition and an escape from the brutality he conjures up to earn a living. All the while, his horrifying and murderous fantasies begin to blend into his day-to-day life, numbing him to his crumbling marriage, until a shocking tragedy occurs, from which he has no escape... One of the true hidden gems of Canadian horror cinema, Mario Azzopardi’s Deadline is an unflinchingly grim, twisted, and cynically comedic study of a man’s slow descent into madness, punctuated by expertly rendered and creatively staged gory deaths. Featuring elegant and colorful cinematography by Fred Guthe (The Pit), tightly paced editing, and even a surprise musical sequence featuring acclaimed New Wave band, Rough Trade.
MARCH 7: HOLLYWOOD HORROR HOUSE
Vic Valance (David Garfield) is an enigmatic young man who has manipulated his way into working at the decaying mansion of a once prolific, but now reclusive and alcoholic, movie star named Katharine Packard (Miriam Hopkins). While the rest of the house staff become suspicious of Vic's intentions, the aging movie queen finds in him a companion and, she hopes, a lover. But as Vic begins behaving in more and more erratic ways, it becomes clear that he's far more sinister than his demeanor implies and might in fact be a vicious serial killer who has been murdering and dismembering middle-aged women in Hollywood... A psychedelic proto-slasher by way of Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Horror House (aka Savage Intruder) was shot on and off between late 1969 and mid-1973 by writer/producer/director Donald Wolfe, with funds from his star home bus tour company. Chock full of lurid, candy-colored freak-outs shot by John Morrill (A Boy and His Dog) along with surprisingly grisly murder set pieces, plus a supporting cast including Gale Sondergaard, Virginia Wing (Law and Order), Florence Lake (Welcome to Arrow Beach), and Joe Besser (The Three Stooges) in his final role in a feature film, Hollywood Horror House ramps up its weirdness all the way through the demented final act.
MARCH 7: NIGHT OWL
An ode to East Village sleaze, Jeffrey Arsenault’s Night Owl is an unflinchingly gritty modern day vampire story set in a world of dingy, house music playing dive bars, pizza parlors, and other drug and misery filled lower Manhattan locales.
MARCH 7: STAR TIME
A delusional misfit becomes suicidal when his favorite TV show is cancelled. An agent promises to make him a TV star if he kills certain people, so he becomes "The Baby Mask Killer."
MARCH 8: ARCHIPELAGO
The second feature from award-winning writer-director Joanna Hogg, Archipelago is an excruciatingly honest and darkly comic deconstruction of middle class sensibilities in its portrayal of a family on holiday and in crisis. Edward (Tom Hiddleston) arrives on a remote island off the English coast, to join his mother and sister who have organised the family holiday to say goodbye to Edward before he embarks on a year of voluntary service in Africa. Hired cook Rose and painting teacher Christopher join the family in their rustic cottage and on day trips around the island. But Edward’s father repeatedly fails to join the gathering, instead communicating with his wife and children via a series of increasingly strained phone-calls. His absence serves to bring the family’s buried anger and repressed emotions to the surface and underlying tensions are gradually revealed through raw scenes of bitter sibling rivalry and marital disharmony.
MARCH 8: FISHTANK
Andrea Arnold’s social-realist masterpiece Fish Tank won the Jury Prize and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival 2009. The critically adored, BAFTA-winning drama centres around Mia (Katie Jarvis), a volatile 15-year-old who is always in trouble and who has been excluded from school and ostracised by her friends. Her one release is dancing, a passion that she practices in secret. One hot summer’s day, her mother (Kierston Wareing) brings home her mysterious, charismatic new boyfriend called Connor (Michael Fassbender) who promises to change everything and bring love into all their lives.
MARCH 8: THE SELFISH GIANT
Set on the outskirts of Bradford, The Selfish Giant follows two rebellious young lads - Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas) - and their involvement with a local scrap dealer. At first their earnings seem to roll in but as jealousy and resentment begin to drive the boys apart Arbor will resort to a desperate act of greed, the tragic consequences of which will tear apart the lives of everyone involved… Boldly cinematic and thoroughly gripping, Clio Barnard’s second feature boasts breathtaking cinematography and astonishing performances from its two young leads.
MARCH 8: GINGER & ROSA
Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa is an evocative and beautifully shot portrait of post-war Britain, as seen through the eyes of an impressionable young teenager. Elle Fanning plays Ginger, who finds herself increasingly estranged from her mother and drawn further into the world of her pacifist and anti-nuclear activist father. However, her friendship with the fiery Rosa is severely tested by his unconventional lifestyle. The result is an intelligent examination of political and personal responsibility starring Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Jodhi May, Annette Bening and Alice Englert.
MARCH 14: THE TESTAMENT OF DR MABUSE
A criminal mastermind uses hypnosis to rule the rackets after death.
MARCH 14: DR MABUSE, THE GAMBLER
A truly legendary silent film, Dr Mabuse, The Gambler had a major impact on the development of the crime thriller, building upon the work of the pioneering French film serialist Louis Feuillade (Les Vampires) and firmly establishing it as a significant film genre. This epic two-part tale was originally released as two separate films, respectively subtitled The Great Gambler and Inferno, and that format is reproduced here. The plot revolves around the pursuit of arch fiend Dr. Mabuse, a gambler, hypnotist, master of disguises and all-around criminal mastermind. Mabuse was the prototype for the sort of evil genius super-villains that would later become common in movies, whether it be in the James Bond pictures or in comic book adaptations like Superman and Batman. The film is dominated by the presence of Rudolf Klein-Rogge as Mabuse. A top German actor of the silent era, he is best known today for his performance as the mad scientist Rotwang in Lang's Metropolis. Dr Mabuse, the Gambler contains many of the elements that were expected from the crime genre at the time, including characters who slip in and out of disguise, mind control, gambling clubs, exotic women, brutal henchmen and unexpected plot twists. Lang's directorial ability to handle such pulp material in a masterful fashion, while also using it as a way to examine the decadence of Germany in the 1920s, reaffirms his status as one of the true greats of the silent era.
MARCH 14: METROPOLIS
Perhaps the most famous and influential of all silent films, Metropolis had for 75 years been seen only in shortened or truncated versions. Now, restored in Germany with state-of-the-art digital technology, under the supervision of the Murnau Foundation, and with the original 1927 orchestral score by Gottfried Huppertz added, Metropolis can be appreciated in its full glory. It is, as A. O. Scott of The New York Times declared, "A fever dream of the future. At last we have the movie every would-be cinematic visionary has been trying to make since 1927." Metropolis takes place in 2026, when the populace is divided between workers who must live in the dark underground and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Lavish and spectacular, with elaborate sets and modern science fiction style, Metropolis stands today as the crowning achievement of the German silent cinema.
MARCH 14: TO SLEEP SO AS TO DREAM
Two private detectives hunt for an actress trapped within the reel of a silent ninja film in the dreamlike debut of Kaizo Hayashi (Circus Boys, Zipang), a magical double-handed cinephilic homage to the movie worlds of the 1910s and 1950s. When private eye Uotsuka (Shiro Sano, Violent Cop, Shin Godzilla) and his sidekick Kobayashi are approached by an aged former actress, Madame Cherryblossom, to go in search of her kidnapped daughter Bellflower, their investigations lead them to the studios of the mysterious M. Pathe company. Here Uotsuka has a strange vision in which he comes face to face with the beautiful star of a 1915 chanbara film that appears to have no ending. From then on, things begin to get a little strange… Drifting between illusion and allusion, it is chockfull of references to Japan’s rich cinematic heritage and features cameos from a host of veteran talent and baroque sets created by Takeo Kimura, the Nikkatsu art designer fondly remembered for his flamboyant work with Seijun Suzuki in the 1960s.
MARCH 18: COP AU VIN
The hidden meanness of provincial life is at the heart of Cop Au Vin (Poulet au vinaigre), as deaths and disappearances intersect around the attempt by a corrupt syndicate of property developers to force a disabled woman and her son from their home.
MARCH 18: INSPECTOR LAVARDIN
Inspector Lavardin sees the titular detective investigating the murder of a wealthy and respected catholic author, renowned for his outspoken views against indecency, whose body is found naked and dead on the beach.
MARCH 18: TORMENT
In Torment (L'enfer) Chabrol picks up a project abandoned by Henri Georges Clouzot, in which a husband's jealousy and suspicion of his wife drive him to appalling extremes. Francois Cluzet and Emmanuelle Beart give career-best performances as the husband and wife tearing each other apart.
MARCH 18: BETTY
Betty, adapted from the novel of the same name by Maigret author Georges Simenon, is a scathing attack on the upper-middle classes, featuring an extraordinary performance by Marie Trintignant as a woman spiraling into alcoholism, but fighting to redefine herself.
MARCH 21: THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI
In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world in which a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.
MARCH 21: THE GOLEM
Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the substance for one of the most adventurous films of the German silent cinema. Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolf II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi (Albert Steinruck) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. When the rabbi's assistant (Ernst Deutsch) takes control of the Golem and attempts to use him for selfish gain, the lumbering monster runs rampant, abducting the rabbi's daughter (Lyda Salmonova) and setting fire to the ghetto. With its remarkable creation sequence (a dazzling blend of religion, sorcery and special effects) and the grand-scale destruction of its climax, The Golem was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and remains an undeniable landmark in the evolution of the horror film.
MARCH 21: FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER
Based on Siegfried Kracauer’s book from 1947, examines this incredible period and place in cinematic history, matching films and filmmakers with events going on in the country at the time. Contemporary theorists and directors such as Fatih Akin give their thoughts on the films in question and how they came about during such a turbulent time in German history. For the most part though, Suchsland lets the films do the talking. He digs out an endless stream of clips from notable titles that play under his own narration, which explains their relevance and place in the story he is telling.
MARCH 21: THE HANDS OF ORLAC
Reuniting the star and director of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, The Hands of Orlac [Orlac’s Hände] is a deliciously twisted thriller that blends grand guignol thrills with the visual and performance styles of German Expressionism. Based on a novel by medical-horror novelist Maurice Renard, it charts the mental disintegration of a concert pianist (Conrad Veidt) whose hands are amputated after a train crash, and replaced with the hands of an executed murderer. When Orlac’s father is murdered by the dead man’s hands, Orlac begins a steady descent towards madness.
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