The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (R. Wiene)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari film map – 1919 – Robert Wiene – German director 1873-1938

In a funfair, during the 19th century, Doctor Caligari exhibits in his hut a sleepwalker named Césare, supposed to be gifted at predicting the future. One evening, he announces to a student his death before dawn. At daybreak, the student is actually found assassinated. A series of murder is committed in the small town. Is Césare the responsible murderer, hypnotized by his Master? 

The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari is the cult film of the post-war German expressionism (1919). Practically all the decors are painted with sharp angles and distorted perspectives that get lost in frightening shades. Plastic cohesion between action, lighting, decors and actors makes this singular film a monument. Through the various themes raised, it also found a strong political echo in its time, in Germany, but perhaps even more in France, where the word “caligarism” has entered the common language. 

Duration 1h20


«“I was always interested by the relationship between music and image. Film concert writing is very specific. It is a question of finding the right balance between both “presences” – the film, with its scenario, and the music, with its development – each of them obeying to different laws. I have to create a relationship between the two, a relation that enables them to support, to amplify, to deepen one another. Our music updates a film already old (soon a century) and the film supports the narration of our musical universe. This is enthralling.” Denis Colin 

Distribution :

  • Denis Colin | Composition, bass clarinet and contralto clarinet
  • Didier Ithursarry | Accordion
  • Benoît Lugué | Electric Bass
  • Pablo Cueco | Percussions