In the early twentieth century when motion pictures were still young and in grainy, soundless black and white, a trip to the movies was a much different experience. To movie buffs this time is known as the silent era yet in those days music was as critical to the production as it is today, perhaps even more so. With each show musicians would accompany the film with a live performance of the score, ranging from nothing more than a pianist in smaller venues to full ensembles in the larger concert halls.
The audience was not only entertained by the film but was also able to feel the energy that comes with a live concert, the musicians playing as much of a role in the story as the actors on the screen. This experience has been lost on generations for nearly the past century, but the Portland organization Filmmusik has created the opportunity for audiences to experience a film in this fashion once again, by pairing classic films with live music as was done in the silent era but with a modern twist. The group enlists local bands to compose and perform their own original score to the film and this week they’ve set up a performance that’s sure to be memorable as local folk creepers Strangled Darlings set the musical mood to the classic vampire flick Nosferatu.
Nosferatu is still thought of by many horror movie fanatics as one of the creepiest films ever made, and with good reason. It’s an adaptation of the novel Dracula as interpreted by German Expressionist director F.W. Murnau, and it’s full of as much blood-sucking vampire terror as any modern film of the same genre, the black and white screen and silent actors adding to the dark layout of the story and the menacing composure of the film’s villain, Count Orlok. Enter Strangled Darlings, a folk duo who are not new to using their songs to set a scene in which the story takes place as can be heard on their album, The Devil in Outer Space: An Operetta. The album is both catchy and haunting at once as the two write songs in which their instruments set the soundtrack to encounters with demons in an insane asylum, traitorous angels and a ride on the devil’s spaceship. The task of taking an audience on a tour through this terrifying silent masterpiece of Nosferatu seems tailor made for Strangled Darlings and this Saturday night at 8pm you can take the tour with them at the historic Hollywood Theatre. Can the Darlings survive a night in the dreadful Count Orlok’s castle? Be there to find out.
Filed under: Coming Attractions