Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Spooky Double Scare with New Musical Accompaniment at the Atlas

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 7.06.26 AM
Caligari's Cesare awakens from his sleep

In the mood for a classic scare this time of year? The Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H Street NE) offers up something a little different. It's double feature of silent films accompanied by a live performance by pianist Andrew Earle Simpson who has composed new works to go with the on screen events. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is considered by many to be the first horror film, and its influence has spread far and wide in the nearly 100 years since its original release. It tells the tale of a mad hypnotist, the somnambulist under his thrall, and a strange rash of murders. The Atlas will screen the legendary film along with The Devil's Assistant (1917).  The second feature is lesser known, but sounds intriguing. It's the story of a vengeful doctor who seeks to destroy the woman who jilted him. According to a Kickstarter Simpson ran earlier this year the film includes a scene with "fantastic red-tinted images of hell, complete with condemned souls writhing in an infernal lake and a winged demon stirring a huge cauldron of morphine."

The screening is set for 4 pm Sunday, October 29th. Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors). The popcorn is free, and audience members are encouraged to dress in costume in the spirit of the season. By the way, if that old Kickstarter caught your interest you can pick up a copy of Simpson's dvd Whispering Shadows & Devil’s Assistant: A Silent Film at the Atlas CafĂ©.

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