On the other hand, the beautifully restored Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is all strange, shivery pleasure. Robert Wiene’s 1920 chiller about a mad scientist (Werner Krauss) who keeps a murderous sleepwalker (Conrad Veidt) as a pet is all oblique angles and charcoal slashes – it’s hard to say if it’s more effective as a feat of storytelling or a piece of design. The organ score Zorn has composed for the film, a magnificent constellation of dots, dashes and long tones, sounds both modern and primeval at once. It’s as if Zorn were using a special Morse code, a pattern of aural Art Deco zigs and zags, to summon the wisdom of the ancients. When Cesare the somnambulist first opens his eyes – black-rimmed and unblinking, they’re the windows of a soulless soul – the ribbon of sound Zorn draws from the keyboard is like the low, villainous hum of a power line. It’s a sound that could keep you awake all night – and for just a moment, you feel the benumbed pain of a character who’s doomed to sleep his life away.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is Joe in Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Charlotte Gainsbourg is Joe in Nymphomaniac: Volume 1


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