Brandon gets in the Halloween mood with spooky silent drama

“The Golem” (1920), a German film about a man made of clay and brought to life, will be screened with live music on Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., at Brandon Town Hall. The Halloween-themed program will be accompanied by live music performed by silent film composer Jeff Rapsis. The evening will open with spooky comedy short subjects. Admission is free, with donations welcome.
This Saturday’s film is the latest edition of the Town Hall’s annual “Chiller Theatre” Halloween presentation, so named because it started before the building had a usable heating system installed. In “The Golem,” set in 16th century Prague, a Rabbi creates a giant creature from clay, called the Golem. Using sorcery, the Rabbi brings the creature to life in order to protect local Jews from persecution. But the experiment gets out of hand, with the Golem imperiling the very community he was created to protect.
“Taking in a film such as ‘The Golem’ is a good way to get into the Halloween spirit,” Rapsis said. “It helps set the appropriately creepy tone.”
“The Golem,” directed by Paul Wegener, uses surrealistic sets and lighting to create an eerie mood. The story is taken from a medieval Jewish legend. In addition to directing, Wegener appears in the film as “The Golem” when the clay creature is brought to life.
The cinematography of Karl Freund, in collaboration with Poelzig and Wegener, is cited as one of the most outstanding examples of German Expressionism of Weimar period cinema.
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