Thursday, April 10, 2008

Experimental Music Meets Expressionistic Film


Saturday April 12th, 2008
3pm: Sherlock Jr (1924)
7pm: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
9pm: Nosferatu (1922)
Live music by the Club Foot Orchestra
The Castro Theatre
San Francisco, CA

Once again, San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre will host a day of silent film screenings. This Saturday's one day festival features Buster Keaton's surreal parody Sherlock Jr (1924), and two German Expressionist classics, Robert Wiene's horrifying fantasy The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and F.W. Murnau's remarkable adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Nosferatu (1922). On the surface the films seem unrelated, but each film challenges the viewers with an off kilter point of view while engaging them on an emotional level through humor, curiosity or fear. All three films will be accompanied live by The Club Foot Orchestra, an experimental jazz group and San Franciscan icon.

The Club Foot Orchestra
The Club Foot Orchestra started life in 1983 as the "Orquestra FOOT a dentra la Boca", an alternative musical aggregation that incorporated musicians from beginners to virtuosos, to play at the Club Foot Music Festival. Founder Richard Mariott reformed and rechristened the orchestra for the Horn Reborn Festival later the same year. For the next four years, the CFO played clubs and recorded two albums. Then, a synchronous turn of events inspired Richard Mariott to focus the group's efforts on scoring a silent film. The combination of a friend suggesting to him that CFO score outtakes from 1950s sitcoms, followed later that night by his viewing a Lily Tomlin sketch about the Dow Jones performance of varying art movements and then randomly flipping channels to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, stimulated him to write a new score for that silent film classic. The CFO performed the score for Caligari live in October of 1987 at the Mill Valley Film Festival. They performed it again for a seven show engagement in 1989 at the Roxie Theatre.
The success of this first score led to a new direction for the orchestra. The CFO went on in 1989 to perform a score, written by Marriot with contributions from Gino Robair, for Nosferatu first at the BAVAC Award Ceremony at SFSU then for a two performance run of the film at The Castro Theatre. The CFO has subsequently created and performed original scores for Metropolis, Sherlock Jr., Pandora's Box , The Hands of Orlac , Legong: Dance of the Virgins , Battleship Potemkin and Phantom of the Opera for various events including the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Berlin and Beyond Film Festival and .the Smithsonian Institute's "Exhibit of Degenerate Art". Kino International used their score for its DVD release of Sherlock Jr and Image Entertainment's Milestone Collection used their score for its DVD release of Legong: Dance of the Virgins.
The joining of three visually stunning films with aurally stimulating soundtracks should make for a unique film going experience. Sherlock Jr tickets are $10; Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tickets are $20 each or $30 for the double feature. Tickets for the screenings are available at or at 866-920-JAZZ. These three films are available on DVD from Kino Home Video and their DVD release of Sherlock Jr includes The Club Foot Orchestra soundtrack. CDs and DVDS featuring The Club Foot Orchestra are available at