As has become a tradition at SFIFF, we again unite vital contemporary musicians with classic silent film. Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Fantômas, Peeping Tom) and three percussionists—Scott Amendola (Scott Amendola Trio, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker, Charlie Hunter), Matthias Bossi (Sleepytime Gorilla Musem, The Book Of Knots, Skeleton Key, Fred Frith) and William Winant (John Cage, Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Lou Reed, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jim O’Rourke)—team to create an original score for the classic German expressionist film Waxworks (1924) that they will present in a live world premiere. This powerhouse ensemble will meet another in the three bona fide stars of the silent era united in the film—Emil Jannings, Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt—who are featured in tales that are inspired by a creepy wax museum and crafted by a starving poet hired to create stories about exhibits on the Caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid (Jannings); serial murderer Jack the Ripper (Krauss) and Russia’s first tsar, Ivan the Terrible (Veidt). Director Paul Leni was originally a set designer and deeply influential in creating the expressionist disposition towards visualizing twisted and gorgeous subjective states in the film’s environments. Patton, Amendola, Bossi and Winant’s genre-busting approach will reanimate Waxworks and provide a musical landscape for its horror, humor and fantasy—not to mention its anachronistic treatments of race, gender and culture. Waxworks print courtesy of the Cohen Media Group.
- Sean Uyehara