On October 7th, Le Cinéclub/The Film Society presented Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), both “genuine 16 mm motion picture films” with live musical performances, at Westmount Park United Church.
Shayne Gryn—Piano and Casavant organ Justin Wright—Cello Erica Bridgeman—Percussion Adam O’Callaghan—Theremin
When I arrived at the door at 6:30 pm, the waiting room was already crowded; people all joyously and excitingly chatting, enjoying cakes and drinks. We then entered the main space; I must say that setting the projections in such a beautiful church definitely adds to the experience. Who knows, maybe a shadow would appear behind one of the stain-glass windows, or up in one of the arches—Halloween, quand tu nous tiens! A wave of impressed murmurs welcomed the mention of the theremin, the “instrument that will electrocute you if you touch it”, as jokingly warned by the host during the introduction.
After being treated to a concert of meowing coming from the crowd (seems other Fantasia Film Festival enthusiasts were also attending the event that evening), I felt as if transported to a different era. Between the purring of the projector behind me and the marvelous musical performances (j’insiste, chapeau!), I got completely engrossed in the narratives. I was laughing, waiting with anticipation for the iconic appearances of characters that, despite their age, are still very much appreciated.
Overall, it was a great experience and I definitely recommend it. Le Cinéclub/The Film Society organizes projections of print films every two weeks on Sundays in various rooms at Concordia University. Make sure to go see the schedule for the upcoming screenings at http://www.cineclubfilmsociety.com/.