THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920 Silent Film)
LIVE SCORE BY THE INVINCIBLE CZARS
Austin-based The Invincible Czars will make their fourth appearance at the Lark Theater as part of their three month INSIDE THE MIND OF DR. CALIGARI TOUR 2023, all over the US and Canada in conjunction with the release of their DVD and soundtraxk. They are known for their cinematic, experimental soundtracks to classic silent movies.
This Halloween season, The Invincible Czars bring their nightmarish-ly fun soundtrack to the world’s first feature-length horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920 Robert Wiene) with an immersive combined live soundtrack experience that transports audiences back 100+ years via an age-old tale accompanied by a chilling, tastefully-modern score featuring an impressive blend of traditional acoustic and present-day electric instruments. The Invincible Czars are also releasing a DVD and downloadable video with their soundtrack.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari inspired modern day filmmaker Tim Burton and musicians like David Bowie with its strikingly modern visuals. Its craggy edges, disjointed backgrounds and heavy make-up have earned this dark fairy tale a reputation as the quintessential German Expressionist film. Its twist ending is also considered the first in cinematic history (and something Rod Sterling’s The Twilight Zone capitalized upon in the 1960s.)
The live accompaniment experience marries the old-world charm of silent film with a contemporary electricity engaging multi-generational audiences. “We strive to create soundtracks that give modern -day audiences a context to appreciate these 100-year-old movies,” said Josh Robins, Invincible Czars founder and bandleader. The group draws upon influences from more modern film composers including Bear McCreary, Angelo Badalmenti, David Buckley, Bernard Herrmann and Danny Elfman
Fans, theaters, and media have consistently praised The Invincible Czars’ carefully crafted soundtracks for enhancing movie-goers’ experience. The band has performed for over a decade at hundreds of theatres and art houses across the US and Canada delighting audiences with an array of sonic twists and turns. The varied compositions and instrumentation adapt individually to each film the Czars score, capturing each thrilling moment and keeping audiences engaged scene by scene.Their score is performed by a five member touring ensemble using violin, flute, bass clarinet, oboe, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, organ, glockenspiel, music box, drums, percussion, samples and loops. From delicate passages of longing and love to menacing motifs of dissonant horror and pain, each instrument plays a critical role establishing character themes and creating an aural dreamscape for the film.
The Invincible Czars encourage fans and attendees to dress for the Halloween season.
Phil Davidson – violin, keyboards, percussion
Skunk Manhattan – piano, keyboards, bass
Josh Robins – guitar, bass, samples, percussion
Louis Landry – drums, percussion, keyboards
Hampton Rattan – winds, keys
The Invincible Czars began making adventurous rock music in Austin clubs 2003 but they quickly branched into the arts world with their wide scope of styles, cinematic flare, mix of modern and classical instruments and their complicated relationship with heavy metal.
Though they continue to take on a variety of projects, including their Austin-tacious re-imagining of Tchaikovsky‘s Nutcracker Suite, The Invincible Czars are probably best known for their silent film soundtracks which they perform live at cinemas, colleges and performing arts spaces all over the US and Canada.
They began accompanying silent films at the original Alamo Drafthouse in Austin in 2006 with Aelita, Queen of Mars (1922.) They continued adding titles to their catalog year after year and expanding their performance region slowly until they were touring the entire US by 2016. Many art house cinemas and film festivals call The Invincible Czars one of the best in the nation for silent film accompaniment. “Thank you for making this movie actually scary,” is heard at least once at every show.
The band operates as a collective with a few core members and a rotating cast of additional members on any given project or tour. They sound different from season to season and year to year. The touring ensemble for 2023 is
ABOUT THE FILM:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tells the story of a group of friends who encounter the mysterious Dr. Caligari and his scary, sleepwalking sidekick Cesare at a carnival. When a series of murders brings the town to its knees, Franzis sets out to prove Caligari is responsible… but is he?