Even among the tall, crooked shadows cast by its fellow classics in 1920s Germany's Expressionist movement, Robert Wiene's The Hands of Orlac (1924) stands out as a disturbing, uniquely-told fable of physical deformation and madness. The follow-up collaboration between Wiene and leading creeper Conrad Veidt to the immensely influential The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Orlac tells the story of a concert pianist who loses his hands in a train accident, only to have them surgically replaced by those of a recently-executed murderer. Sure enough, the pianist soon finds himself consumed with violent thoughts at the mercy of his new flesh… but will he act upon them?
Tonight at Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg, twisted lo-fi sonambulists SLEEP ∞ OVER—in town for the tail end of their tour with Memory Tapes—provide an original score for The Hands of Orlac that would surely have blown minds apart in 1924. And to really cap off the modernized psychedelia of the occasion, not just the sounds will be novel: an original stereoscopic 3D version of the film has been prepared in-house by Spectacle for the event.
Programmed by Mark Freado with re-rendering by Jon Dieringer—also the purveyor of indispensable website 'n' daily newsletter Screen Slate—this deranged classic has been mutated via an analglyph (red/cyan) process that will pull its images off the screen for the very first time. 3D movies date back roughly to 1922 but didn't catch on until the 1950s, so the opportunity to catch a stereoscopic screening of a silent film from this era is nearly unprecedented. According to Jon, “for this both brooding & bubblegum-y remix I've shown the film to be entirely subjective to its lead's perspective (the wonderful Conrad Veidt), and further endeavored to exterminate all rational thought from its narrative underpinning.” Whet your lips:
Even custom-made 3D glasses will be provided for the occasion:
Sets/showtimes are at 8:00 & 10:00. Be sure to get there early!
Spectacle is located at 124 S 3rd St (near Bedford Ave), tickets are $5 at the door and this show is BYOB(!).
If you can't make it tonight, check out SLEEP ∞ OVER at 285 Kent this Wednesday night (04/17) with Prince Rama, Teams, Splash and a special guest. Also, be sure to check out Spectacle's schedule for the ridiculous amount of programming that they offer week-after-week.