Toundra - Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari review



Reviewer:
N/A

15 users:
7.27
Band: Toundra
Album: Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari
Release date: February 2020


01. Titelsequenz
02. Akt I
03. Akt II
04. Akt III
05. Akt IV
06. Akt V
07. Akt VI


How often is there a hundredth anniversary for a groundbreaking movie? How often do you have post-rock bands recording a new score for it?

Toundra are a Spanish instrumental post-rock band that have been around for more than a decade and only recently started naming their albums as something else than a number. While Vortex could've just as easily been Toundra (V), what we have here acts like more than just an album. Like the title suggests, it is based on the 1920 German expressionist film Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari. In fact, not only based on, if you look at the tracklist, the track numbers and times fits perfectly with the movie's acts. Indeed, this is a companion piece for the movie.

But the theme and release date is no coincidence. Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari was released on the 26th of February 1920, exactly a hundred years ago. It's almost impossible for words to describe how groundbreaking of a movie it was, and how it is still entertaining to watch even a full century later. But it being a silent movie, the lack of dialogue and the audio technology of the time meant that it had to rely entirely on an orchestral soundtrack, a part which I often find least memorable about films of that era anyway. And other than dark ambient, what other genre would be most fit to act as a soundtrack to the world's first non-linear horror movie?

I have to admit that something like dark ambient or drone or darkwave would've been my picks as well, but post-rock is still way ahead of boom bap or bubblegum pop. Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari can be judged both as a standalone album and as to how well it scores the movie. Having done listens on its own and in sync with the movie, the latter is very much preferred (as was intended) as the music is a lot slower, more atmospheric and less entertaining than it would've been if it didn't need to accommodate the length, mood and pace of the movie. You may remember similar issues with an opera I previously reviewed, but in this case the movie was already there and the music has to completely be subservient to it.

As a soundtrack, there are clearly attempts to match the mood of the film. It's gleeful when the movie is gleeful, it's somber when the movie is somber, it's melodramatic when the movie is melodramatic. Listening to the album wouldn't really make anyone think of the movie in any way, but they strangely do complement one another and the link between them works when put together. As weird as it is to have such well produced music along with a grainy century old film, both do have some of that expressionistic quality.

You can watch the film with the album as score below, but unless you understand either the German film or the Spanish subtitles, you might need to also find a version with English captions.



 



Written on 26.02.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 88 users
27.02.2020 - 02:06
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Spoiler alert: there is no happy end...


This has kept me busy for the last 73 minutes.
I am German and "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" is a well-known silent movie classic, maybe even a cultural heritage, but it took Metal Storm, some Spanish post metal and the words of a Romanian reviewer before I finally watched this...

At parts the whole thing is pretty spooky (on a very old-fashioned way of course, but that's the primary source of its charme anyway) and the grotesque but somehow nightmarish backdrops held in sepia colours have a strong effect on the already oppressive mood. But it's Toundra's score that perfectly complements and supports this prime example of a very early expressionistic plot. I believe it's a perfect match and I probably wouldn't have bothered to ever watch this without a contemporary and enjoyable musical background.

What a great idea to review this!
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27.02.2020 - 08:32
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 27.02.2020 at 02:06

Spoiler alert: there is no happy end...


This has kept me busy for the last 73 minutes.
I am German and "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" is a well-known silent movie classic, maybe even a cultural heritage, but it took Metal Storm, some Spanish post metal and the words of a Romanian reviewer before I finally watched this...

At parts the whole thing is pretty spooky (on a very old-fashioned way of course, but that's the primary source of its charme anyway) and the grotesque but somehow nightmarish backdrops held in sepia colours have a strong effect on the already oppressive mood. But it's Toundra's score that perfectly complements and supports this prime example of a very early expressionistic plot. I believe it's a perfect match and I probably wouldn't have bothered to ever watch this without a contemporary and enjoyable musical background.

What a great idea to review this!

Pretty surprised you never watched it before, but then again this is coming from someone who can't remember any Romanian movie he watched.

I still enjoy Dr Caligari even without the soundtrack, and probably even more than films like Nosferatu, M or Metropolis. But it's indeed true that the Toumdra score makes it even better.
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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27.02.2020 - 09:09
Ball Fondlers
Is this the same movie that hail spirit noir uses in it's video for "Against the Curse, We Dream"? I watched the first 3 mins and so far the women looks familiar
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27.02.2020 - 09:48
nikarg
Mod
Written by Ball Fondlers on 27.02.2020 at 09:09

Is this the same movie that hail spirit noir uses in it's video for "Against the Curse, We Dream"? I watched the first 3 mins and so far the women looks familiar

Yes, it is.

Indeed great idea to review this, Radu. I also liked the film review you linked.
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27.02.2020 - 09:59
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 27.02.2020 at 09:48

Indeed great idea to review this, Radu. I also liked the film review you linked.

Well the 100th anniversary only happens once so I had to do it. Also glad you checked the blog thing too. So in case you're interested in my only other film review.
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- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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29.02.2020 - 00:39
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Will have to check this out. used to have Caligari, Der Golem and Nosferatu on some triple feature DVD. also bought Metroplolis to round out my Ye Olde Movie collection.
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get the fuck off my lawn.

2019 Keepers Spotify Playlist
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29.02.2020 - 14:59
Ball Fondlers
Written by Starvynth on 27.02.2020 at 02:06

Spoiler alert: there is no happy end...


This has kept me busy for the last 73 minutes.
I am German and "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari" is a well-known silent movie classic, maybe even a cultural heritage, but it took Metal Storm, some Spanish post metal and the words of a Romanian reviewer before I finally watched this...

At parts the whole thing is pretty spooky (on a very old-fashioned way of course, but that's the primary source of its charme anyway) and the grotesque but somehow nightmarish backdrops held in sepia colours have a strong effect on the already oppressive mood. But it's Toundra's score that perfectly complements and supports this prime example of a very early expressionistic plot. I believe it's a perfect match and I probably wouldn't have bothered to ever watch this without a contemporary and enjoyable musical background.

What a great idea to review this!

I just watched it too, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the sets they used with all the crooked shapes. Nothing quite like I've seen before. And yes the accompanying track worked really well, and made it even more enjoyable.

Thanks for reviewing Radu... I would have looked over this otherwise
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29.02.2020 - 17:55
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BitterCOld on 29.02.2020 at 00:39

Will have to check this out. used to have Caligari, Der Golem and Nosferatu on some triple feature DVD. also bought Metroplolis to round out my Ye Olde Movie collection.

That seems like a cool German Expressionist collection to have. I have yet to see Der Golem, but I will soon.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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03.03.2020 - 11:34
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by Starvynth on 27.02.2020 at 02:06

Spoiler alert: there is no happy end...




Now you pissed Troy Gallant whit this,... I will check movie but this band music is horrible and boring, i wonder How many ppl actially likes it. I hope few weirdos. Roman number or untiteled i, II song tittles piss me off a lot.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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