Clark College to screen classic silent thriller

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VANCOUVER — On the cusp of Halloween, the Clark College German Club will offer a free public screening of an early German classic: “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.”

The silent, black-and-white 1919 film will be presented Wednesday evening with a live performance by Gideon Freudmann on the electric cello.

A haunting score, Freudmann’s specialty, should add to the “moody masterpiece of German Expressionism,” said Clark German professor Julian Nelson.

The sharply stylized film stars the title character, who displays a sleepwalker as a circus novelty act to murderous and zombielike consequences. With its mad-doctor theme and striking visuals, the movie set the tone for horror films to follow decades later.

For a short clip — it may take a few moments for the link to load — see: http://cellobop.com/caligaridvd.htm.

Wednesday’s event runs 7 to 9 p.m. in the Penguin Student Lounge, in the Penguin Union Building on Clark’s main campus, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Seating will begin about 6:45 p.m., available on a first-come, first-served basis.