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Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the substance for one of the most adventurous films of the German silent cinema.
Set in medieval Prague, The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920, 86 minutes) tells the Jewish legend of a folkloric figure made of clay who comes to life to prevent the Jews’ expulsion from the city. An astonishing new soundtrack is provided by percussionist Matthew Gold (Talea Ensemble) and cellist Paul de Jong (The Books).
Ever the collector, de Jong will bring a selection of some rarer specimens from his array of cello-like instruments—an arpeggione, a church bass, paired with pre-recorded materials from his extensive sound archive and Matthew Gold’s makeshift drum set made of spare parts, metal bowls, tuned wrenches, bells, and other found sounds played with beaters, bows, stones, and marbles.
With its remarkable creation sequence (a dazzling blend of religion, sorcery and special effects) expressionist sets, and the grand-scale destruction of its climax, The Golem was one of the greatest achievements of the legendary UFA Studios, and remains an undeniable landmark in the evolution of the horror film.