The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, with live score by Minima

This article is from 2011

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Expressionist horror flick with live soundtrack performance

‘It’s a truly, truly amazing film,’ is the simple reason given by guitarist Alex Hogg as to why his band Minima chose to create a live score for Robert Wiene’s classic 1919 German expressionist silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. ‘Even more so when you think about the context in which it was made, in Germany just after the First World War. It’s hard to imagine what was going through the minds of the audience unless you were actually there, it’s about mistrust, madness, paranoia, everyone watching over their shoulders. It’s also about the fear of the outsider, in this case a travelling showman who turns up in a little village just as people start to get murdered.’

It isn’t so much the case, Hogg believes, that the film’s theme also represents a prevailing mood of the moment, as that these feelings have always and will always exist. Minima, a quartet based between London and Bristol who will be playing Edinburgh on the back of the Green Man festival, take many of their cues from another troubled decade, the 1970s. Their guitarist describes them as a rock band, citing his own love for Pink Floyd as an inspiration, but also points to the group’s willingness to play whatever style they want. ‘We’ll be doing a tango one minute and a full-on drum ‘n’ bass thing the next. It’s great fun, we have carte blanche to indulge our musical fantasies.’

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, 22–28 Aug, midnight, £10–£12.

Minima: Clips from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Elsewhere on the web