The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
On IMDB (score 8.1)
On Rotten Tomatoes (score 100!)
Roger Ebert (a great movie, 4 stars)
Directed by Robert Wiene
Written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer
Featuring live music by Tom Teasley
Helen Hayes Award-winning percussionist and internationally acclaimed musician Tom Teasley will perform an original live score to accompany the 1920 classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Considered the first horror movie and one of the most famous examples of the German Expressionist movement, Caligari is the story of young love gone horribly wrong at the hands of a diabolical doctor who may be able to predict the future. With stylized, gothic sets that would influence future directors like Tim Burton, Caligari introduced cinema to the idea of the "twist" ending. Combining ancient instruments with digital technology, Teasley's original score will interplay with the film and its bold visual style. Escape from the mad doctor before getting trapped in an insane asylum at this special screening just for you. Combining ancient instruments with digital technology and all manner of percussion Teasley's original score will interplay with the film and its bold visual style. Teasley performs on a hybrid kit of percussion including foot controlled timbale, djembe, bongos, aquasonic, flutes and various keyboards. These traditional and unusual instruments complement the angular structure of the setting of this film and heighten the dramatic moments and action.
This DVD includes two versions. One is the edited film with Teasley’s soundtrack and the other includes Tom’s live performance of the movie underneath the original.
Critical response to the live showing is incredibly positive.
“I am pleased to report that Tom Teasley has breathed new life into The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Teasley's eerie score makes the film feel unpredictably alive and immerses the audience in the tale of the mad doctor and his murderous somnambulist. The live music makes the film feel like a communal experience. The audience on opening night let out gasps as the plot unfolded, a remarkable reaction to a film that is almost 100 years old. If that's not a recommendation for Teasley's work, I don't know what is.” - Hannah Landsberger - Broadway World
(Teasley) is, in a sense, another character in this film. Those who come to the movie knowing the story of Dr. Caligari won’t miss as much if they find themselves transfixed by Teasley’s performance. Others – especially those with a love of silent-era films and German Expressionism (welcome to Tinder, ladies) – who haven’t seen Dr. Caligari may want to go twice: once to experience Weine’s disturbing look at mania and murder, and again to appreciate Teasley’s seamless work. - Mike Bevel DCMetroTheatreArts
“Mr. Teasley’s original score to “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” was certainly a treat to experience. His setup in and of itself was impressive, with a vast array of hand percussion instruments, rattles, Native American flutes, electronic keyboards, samplers, and synthesizers. Also, it is of importance to note that all music was performed live without the aid of pre-recorded material or loopers, which aids in the realization of Teasley’s impeccable timing.
An aspect of Teasley’s performance that I thought was particularly creative was Teasley’s utilization of short, recognizable melodies to represent certain characters and thematic material within the film.” -Brittney Allen - Maryland Theatre Guide
“Tom Teasley’s live score suits it well. Using mainly a keyboard and various percussion instruments, some homemade, he shivers our spines with atmospheric creepiness. Who knew a coffee can with a steel spring through it could sound so threatening? - Jill Keil Keith DCTheatreScene