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Film Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

By Kevin Klenkel

The entire crowd sat in silent anticipation for the opening chord to be struck on the organ. No, they had not come to see The Doors live. Over 300 people were in awe awaiting the german masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari .

Part of AFI Silver's free film series, no one was quite ready for the transcendental experience that was before them. Many had come across the expressionist film before but not like this. In a beautiful theater, on the silver screen, with a live music accompaniment.

Caligari is one of the few films given four stars by Roger Ebert, possibly the greatest film critic of all time. The film stands out by its sets, characterization, and filming. As Ebert points out, this is the first time that a film decided to move away from the usual use of the camera as a tool to capture realities.

The setting is now more unique than the story, the basic elements have been remade ad infinitum. This is no way deludes the film. Watching this film allows the viewer to transcend time and space to a reality that can not be trusted, not by the characters that we follow or even the sights we see. This is indeed a must see film one of the very few that exist.

AFI Silver is the preeminent theater for the cinephile. Located in SIlver Spring, MD, the theater shows several types of films, domestic, international, classic, and new releases. This particular showing was free as several films at the theater are. Others are shown for a meager fee of five dollars. The facilities are so beautiful, one could be upset by the lights going down, they would become once more amazed when the reel begins to spin and the outside world is forgotten. Happy viewing.