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The latest pioneering work of Didier Thunus-2

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
What's new on Oct.18,2020: Didier Thunus The second set of soundtracks for silent films has been released on Youtube
The Cabinet of Caligari"
1920 Silent film““The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"- 73'35"
Didier Thunus's explanation for the rescore
Didier Thunus-“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
One century ago, cinema was still very far from what it has become today. Yet, there are movies made in that period that still fascinate present-day film lovers. “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari”, directed by Robert Wiene in 1920, is one of them. Germany has been the seat of expressionism, with movies like “Metropolis” (Fritz Lang, 1927), “Nosferatu” (F.W. Murnau, 1922) and many more. “Caligari” is amongst the first ones and is archetypal of the genre. Its originality comes from its dark and distorted visual style, made of leaning and undulating lines, sharp-pointed forms, contorted perspectives, as well as from the structure of its storyline: not unlike recent popular movies such as “The Sixth Sense” (M. Night Shyamalan, 1999), “The Others” (Alejandro Amenábar, 2001) and especially “Shutter Island” (Martin Scorsese, 2010), it has a twist ending revealing that the main narrative was actually the delusion of the main character – or maybe it wasn’t after all. This was quite unusual for the period: stories of early movies were usually linear and progressive. In “Caligari”, the story – based on a novel by Hans Janowitz – is even told over 3 periods: the main narrative takes the form of a flashback, and there is yet another flashback within the flashback. And then it proceeds one level at a time back to present day.
German expressionism was born between the two world wars, and is clearly a product of the complex political and economic situation of the country during that period. “Caligari” also stands out for the stances it takes towards certain of these aspects, and supports multiple perspectives. One can argue that the character of Caligari is representative of totalitarianism, and the character of Cesar, the sleepwalker, is the personification of the population: always asleep and obeying blindly to his master’s orders, even if it is to commit the most horrible crimes. Or the doctor can also be seen as the victim of oppressive conditions: the representatives of the state, be they the townhall clerk or the policemen, are always sitting on high chairs and looking down at the people. But in his case, Caligari will decide to fight and use crime in order to alter the situation. The perspective of Francis is also interesting: is he the victim of a conspiracy, or was this whole story created by his failing mental conditions? In the current troubled times, we realize how much these intrigues still resonate today.
Re-scoring “Nosferatu” in 2019 gave me the impression that my music suited well to German expressionism movies. It was a natural move for me to watch other such movies and see which feelings, which ideas, they were feeding me with. “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” certainly provided grist to my mills. Trying a couple of pieces on selected scenes gave me a head start and bit by bit, I found myself building a new score. The process was very natural and confirmed my initial intuition.
When I watched the movie, two elements appeared to me as central to the overall atmosphere of the film: the mystery, and the investigation. For the latter, I decided I would go in the direction of Ennio Morricone’s “Investigation of Citizen above Suspicion”, a wonderful score which I worship, with a very recognizable main theme: sharp, aggressive, and, at the same time, refined and humorous, it has a bouncing, ear-catching melodic line, often played by a mandolin or a piano on a dense rhythm of strings. This idea also helped me circumvent one of the main challenges of the score to create, in relation to the several scenes in the first part of the movie which take place in the festive environment of a fair. I wanted to avoid the trap of producing for these moments folkloric and cheerful source music that one would expect in such a setting. It would have challenged the overall consistency of the soundtrack, which is for me an important quality of a good film score. Film music has to encompass the whole range of the emotional landscape, not just the casual music that the protagonists are hearing. Morricone’s technique however, while catering for joyful passages, also develops into more graphic and expressive forms, therefore serving well both the diegetic and the illustrative purposes.
For the mystery theme, it seemed to me that the soundscapes of John Carpenter were the most appropriate. Carpenter has conceived, both as a director and as a composer, paramount moments of horror cinema throughout the 1970s and the 1980s. His music, made up of electronic and rhythmic, non-orchestral, elements, is still today seen as archetypal of the genre.
I therefore proceeded to create pieces inspired by those two masters and make them fit to the scenes (the first group corresponds to tracks 3, 4, 5, 12 and 18, and the second one to tracks 6, 9, 15, 16, 19 and 21). Secondary elements also required special approaches, such as the character of the woman, for whom I chose to reuse the piece “Una bambola sola” (tracks 8, 13, 14 and 17) which I had created for EverKent’s album “Cronoca di un falsario” in 2018, or the wrongfully accused character (tracks 12 and 13), and the flashback and forth (tracks 2 and 25).
More classical approaches were taken for pieces like “Caligari” (which is also the intro and outro of the main title) – harp, woodwinds and strings create a Hitchcock-like atmosphere – or “End of the Tragedy”. Some Morricone trademarks also appear in pieces like “Obsession” where electric guitar, haunting strings and organ create an almost western-like apocalyptic mood, or “Cesar’s Fate”, with its slow march reminiscent of the “Cefalonia” song.
You have understood by now that my purpose is not to avoid anachronism; it is rather to offer a counterpoint that can bring the movie under a new perspective and attract people who might have overlooked this masterpiece otherwise.
A total of 26 OST have been released, and here's a list of all the tracks
The time appears in the film --Music Name
Didier's instructions for each piece of music
00:00 The Cabinet of Dr Caligari #1 (Opening Credits)
The main title is at the crossroads between the mystery and investigation dichotomy: insisting strings and piano chords garnish a repetitive melody that may sound innocent upon first listening, but whose determination ends up creating unease. It prepares the viewers to a seemingly inoffensive tale that will nevertheless not leave them unharmed.
02:11 The Story of Francis #1 (The Fiancee)
Francis talks to an old man as they see Jane pass them by. He says she is his fiancée, and proceeds to tell the old man the story that had brought them together. The main narrative of the movie starts with a flashback as we discover Alan, Francis’ friend, deciding to go to the fair downtown.
06:15 The Fair / The Doctor's Scheme #1 (Townhall)
Alan convinces Francis to go with him. In the meantime, Dr Caligari visits the townhall in order to request permission for holding a stand at the fair. The manner he is received by the clerk is not to his liking. This piece uses the structure of Morricone’s “Investigation” theme, as witnessed by the joyful segment interrupted by a worrisome interlude
10:19 Step Right In
Caligari arrives at the fair and starts drawing attention to his attraction: a show featuring a man who has been sleeping for all his life and who can predict the future. In parallel, the police discovers that the town clerk has been murdered. Based on the previous scene, we can easily guess that Caligari is not foreign to this crime.
13:38 The Two Friends
Francis and Alan are visiting the fair. Upon Alan’s insistence, they decide to join the crowd attending Caligari’s show inside a tent. The music is still joyful: the men are having fun and there is still no reason to worry.
16:10 The Sleepwalker #1 (The Show)
The show starts and Caligari opens a coffin from which Cesar steps out like a zombie. Fascinated, Alan volunteers to be told his future. Cesar predicts that the poor man will only live until dawn. This is the first Carpenter-inspired piece, capturing the mystery and the anxiety of this enigmatic moment.
21:43 Caligari (Bumper)
Francis and Alan exit the tent, disturbed by the strange event, on this “bumper” of the main theme’s intro. (A bumper is a short musical snippet, reminiscent of a recurrent theme, typically heard in television shows before or after a commercial break.)
21:52 The Lonely Girl #1 (Walk in the City)
They meet their friend Jane and walk together with her in the streets at night, on this first version of the “Lonely Girl” theme.
23:17 Night #1 (The Death of Alan)
When the girl is gone, both men admit to each other that they are in love with her, and claim they will respect her choice when she will make one. But at night, Alan is savagely assassinated by an unseen murderer. This bass-dominated theme sets an anxious atmosphere that will be predominant for the rest of the movie.
27:18 The Cabinet of Dr Caligari #2 (The Report)
Francis is called upon and has to face the fact that his friend is dead. He goes to the police in order report the murder, on this reprise of the main title.
28:45 Regrets
Blaming himself for not having taken Cesar’s menace seriously enough, Francis goes to visit Jane in order to let her know what has happened.
31:34 The Wrong Man #1 / The Investigation
A suspect is arrested by the police, while Francis and Jane’s father team up to investigate on the weird character of Cesar, to Caligari’s disarray. A new theme is introduced to illustrate the wrongdoings of the captured outlaw, and another one when the investigators visit Caligari’s caravan.
35:55 The Wrong Man #2 / The Lonely Girl #2
As the arrested man is being interrogated, Jane starts worrying that her father has still not come back.
37:58 The Lonely Girl #3 (Jane meets Cesar)
She decides to go look for him and ends up meeting Caligari and Cesar in the tent. She will be very impressed by this surreal encounter. She doesn’t know it yet, but having asked a question to Cesar will make her the next victim of the malicious pair. The “Lonely Girl” theme is now played in its full version.
41:44 Night #2 (Francis Spying)
Francis is not convinced that the prisoner was the murderer, and keeps surveying Caligari’s whereabouts, on this short reprise of the “Night” theme.
42:52 The Abduction
As Jane is sleeping, Cesar approaches her with a knife. At the moment of killing her, he hesitates and decides to kidnap her instead. He is quickly chased by Jane’s father and other men, and has to let Jane go before falling into the void. This impressive scene called for a strong underscoring, starting with creepy sounds and continuing into a relentless chase theme.
47:19 The Lonely Girl #4 (The Trauma)
Traumatised by the recent events, Jane tries to help Francis find new clues for his investigation. He had indeed verified that Cesar had not left the caravan during the kidnapping incident.
48:35 The Puppet
After checking if the prisoner had not been set free, Francis goes again to visit Caligari, only to find out that what he thought was Cesar, was actually an inarticulate puppet. For this new investigation scene, the style of the music goes back to that of earlier pieces.
51:49 Escape to Asylum
Now unmasked, Caligari escapes. Francis follows him into an asylum where the man found refuge. Asking to talk to the director, he will realize that the latter is none other than Caligari himself. This chase and discovery scene, where the movie tumbles for good into madness, demanded an unrelenting piece of music where rhythm and tension bring the audience into apprehension and anxiety.
55:40 The Doctor's Scheme #2 (Desk Research)
Francis and the asylum staff search the doctor’s archives in order to find out what the latter was up to. They discover old documents relating a similar story of a doctor called Caligari using a sleepwalker in order to commit crimes. The music is the same as when the doctor was visiting the townhall earlier in the movie.
59:00 The Sleepwalker #2 (The New Patient)
In a second level of flashback, we see a sleeping Cesar being brought to the office of the director, who will soon realize that his moment has come. The music is a new variant of the “Sleepwalker” theme.
1:01:33 Obsession
Obsessed by his idea, the director starts receiving transcendental messages telling him to become Caligari. The music is a hyperbolic variation of the theme “8th Avenue” from EverKent’s debut album “Bridge of Illusions”.
1:03:42 Cesar's Fate
Back to the first level of flashback. Cesar is found dead and is being brought to the director in order to confront him with the reality.
1:05:58 End of the Tragedy
Devastated by the news, the director/Caligari goes berserk and has to be immobilised by a straitjacket.
1:08:02 The Story of Francis #2 (The Queen, the Pianist and the Fortune Teller)
We now go back to present time, after Francis has told the whole story to the old man who now looks very troubled. As they walk home, we realize that we are actually inside the asylum and that the other inmates are all the characters from the story, including Jane and Cesar. Upon seeing the director, Francis loses his composure and it is now his turn to be immobilised.
1:12:51 Caligari (Full Stop)
The director realizes that Francis thinks that he, the director, is Caligari, and says that he knows now how to cure him.
Above: Didier Thunus
Eight months after the publication of 《Nosferatu》, Didier immediately completed another of his new works 《The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari》. Although this film came from 100 years ago, it has been hailed as the milestone and essence of German Expressionism film. It has been rated as one of the 12 best films in the world, and has been listed as a required course for students of film courses. The whole film is completely made in the studio. All the scenes are completed by a camera, artificial setting, and various tilts, twisted lines and magical landscapes painted on the canvas. Its production process is unique and can be regarded as a classic. The plot of the film is ups and downs, and the ending even turns upside down. The story is still used by many famous films such as  "metropolis","Blade Runner""Frankenstein", "Edward Scissorhands" and so on. It has a profound impact on the history of the world film for more than 100 years. It is a famous movie that the friends who love movies have to see and know. After 100 years, Didier re-score the music, re read, reflect and interpret the film from the perspective of modern people, which is worthy of attention and research. Everybody are welcome to write messages, comments and participate in "dialogue with Didier"
The info and plot in IMDB
Director:  Robert Wiene
Country:  Germany
Release Date:  27 February 1920 (Germany) See more »
Storyline: Francis, a young man, recalls in his memory the horrible experiences he and his fiancée Jane recently went through. It is the annual fair in Holstenwall. Francis and his friend Alan visit The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an exhibit where the mysterious doctor shows the somnambulist Cesare, and awakens him for some moments from his death-like sleep. When Alan asks Cesare about his future, Cesare answers that he will die before dawn. The next morning Alan is found dead. Francis suspects Cesare of being the murderer, and starts spying on him and Dr. Caligari. The following night Cesare is going to stab Jane in her bed, but softens when he sees the beautiful woman, and instead of committing another murder, he abducts her. Jane's father awakens because of the noise, and he and some servants follow the fleeing Cesare. When Cesare cannot outrun his pursuers anymore, he gently places Jane down on the ground, and runs away. Francis and the police investigate the caravan of Dr. Caligari, but the ..
IMDB Shows all composers of past
Summary of the original on WIKI
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (GermanDas Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema, it tells the story of an insane hypnotist (Werner Krauss) who uses a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) to commit murders. The film features a dark and twisted visual style, with sharp-pointed forms, oblique and curving lines, structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles, and shadows and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets......
The film thematizes brutal and irrational authority. Writers and scholars have argued the film reflects a subconscious need in German society for a tyrant, and is an example of Germany's obedience to authority and unwillingness to rebel against deranged authority. Some critics have interpreted Caligari as representing the German war government, with Cesare symbolic of the common man conditioned, like soldiers, to kill. Other themes of the film include the destabilized contrast between insanity and sanity, the subjective perception of reality, and the duality of human nature........(WIKI)
The film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" in China
德国表现主义在20世纪初的反传统思潮中兴起,与十八世纪的哥特艺术与十九世纪的浪漫派艺术一脉相承。德国艺术家为了与印象派区分而首次使用此词。在艺术作品的创作上,艺术家们背离了欧洲传统学院派的“理性”、“描摹客观”美学,同时受尼采的悲剧美学和弗洛伊德的精神分析学等的影响,侧重于表达情感、内心的意象。艺术家们擅用虚幻怪诞的视觉效果来表达生活的晦暗不明与深不可测。1920年的“黑白”默片《卡里加里博士的小屋》被誉为德国表现主义电影的里程碑之作.........影片开头的字体设计便充分体现了表现主义的风格——线条凌厉,歪曲的字体形态与背景里尖锐的几何形状相互呼应,冷绿色与黑色的色调烘托了阴森危险的氛围,把卡里加里的小屋变成了潘多拉的魔盒...... (节录,您可以在这里继续观看全文
(Online translation) German Expressionism rose in the anti-traditional trend of thought in the early 20th century, which is in the same line as the Gothic art in the 18th century and the romantic art in the 19th century. German artists used the word for the first time in order to distinguish it from Impressionism. In the creation of artistic works, the artists deviated from the traditional European academic school of "rationality" and "objective description", while influenced by Nietzsche's tragic aesthetics and Freud's psychoanalysis, they focused on the expression of emotion and inner image. Artists are good at using fantastic visual effects to express the obscurity and unfathomability of life. The 1920 "black and white" silent film "Dr. Calgary's cabin" is regarded as the milestone of German Expressionism film..... The font design at the beginning of the film fully reflects the expressionism style - sharp lines, distorted font forms and sharp shapes in the background echo each other, cold green and black colors set off the gloomy and dangerous atmosphere, which makes karija The small house in the house has become Pandora's magic box... (excerpt, you can continue to watch the full Chinese text here)
The video of "The cabinet of Dr. Carigari" from China website (Chinese dubbing)
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