Preview: This week's alternative films
Simon ParkinTo coincide with the 90th anniversary of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari gets a special showing complete with a live score provided by electro-jazz combo Cipher. Plus: Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity and Errol Flynn's Dodge City.Simon Parkin
THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI
Dir: Robert Wiene (1920)
With: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover
To coincide with the 90th anniversary of this classic of silent cinema, here is a real treat. The film is being screened with a live score provided by ethereal electro-jazz combo Cipher, who seem to specialise in this type of film project, having recently scored Hitchcock's The Lodger.
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Death stalks a north-German town when the sinister showman Caligari hypnotises his servant into committing murder by night and abducting the girlfriend of the hero. But a bizarre twist casts the story in a different and ambiguous light.
Weird and distorted sets (by Hermann Warm and Walther Reimann) are rightly celebrated as one of the founding examples of expressionism, and the film exercised a profound influence on German studio films in the following decade and its echo can be seen in just about every subsequent horror movie. See it here as you've never seen or heard it before.
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t Screens at Norwich Arts Centre on April 15 (8pm), 01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk
Dir: Billy Wilder (1944)
With: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G.Robinson
Director Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler - creator of the ultimate private investigator, Philp Marlowe, adapted James M. Cain's hard-boiled novel into this dark film noir.
Insurance investigator Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) plans the perfect murder with the beautiful Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck): murder Dietrichson's husband and make off with the insurance money. But, of course, things never quite go as planned and Barton Keyes (Edward G.Robinson) is the wily insurance investigator's boss who has a feeling that not all is as it seems.
It's really the archetypal film noir of the 1940s, brilliantly filmed and incisively written, perfectly capturing the decayed Los Angeles atmosphere of a Chandler novel but with a simpler story and more substantial characters.
t Screens at Cinema City on April 11 (5.30pm), 0871 7042053, www.picturehouses.co.uk
Dir: Michael Curtiz (1939)
With: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan
Warner Brothers pulled out all the stops for this, Errol Flynn's first western: stampedes, brawls, Technicolor, Olivia De Havilland, and Ann Sheridan.
Flynn plays Wade Hatton, a wanderer who roams where jobs take him. His current assignment is to deliver cattle safely for auction to Dodge City. Jeff Surrett (Bruce Cabot) wants those cattle, even if it means having his henchmen bump off rival bidders.
The local folk are cowered by Surrett's ruthless reign. As a result, Dodge is a lawless zone of chaos and violence. So Wade decides to take up as new sheriff and clean house.
Hold on to those holsters for edge of the saddle excitement as Flynn tames Dodge, with gun fights and the roughest, toughest saloon brawl ever filmed - bar none.
t Screens at Assembly House, Norwich, on April 12 (7.15pm) and April 13 (2.15pm), , more details 01603 626402.