At a local carnival, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep and the soothsayer commits serial murder in the small German town of Holstenwall … This early ‘psychological thriller’ is one of the best-known of all German films. It was shot on sets redolent of expressionism and was an early example of using a frame story to introduce the flashback narrative. The film has been restored using the original camera negative, resulting in a print quality worthy of its classic status. This screening represents more than just one premiere. New York composer and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn will play a new composition on the Karl Schuke organ at Berlin’s philharmonic to accompany the film. This Berlinale Classics presentation is a cooperative venture between the Berlin International Film Festival, the foundations Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker as well as ZDF in conjunction with ARTE, and 2eleven || zeitgenössische musik projekte. – World premiere of the digitally restored version.
by Robert Wiene
with Werner Krauß, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Fehér, Lil Dagover
Germany (through 1945) 1920