By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – The Big Arts Center is offering a different way to celebrate Halloween: watching a classic silent horror film with a live musical accompaniment.
On Oct. 30, the Bing will present the 1920 landmark film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” screened with a live performance by Not So Silent Cinema at 8 p.m.
Brian Hale, the Bing’s executive director, said this is a return visit by Not So Silent Cinema, which performed a score last year for the 1922 film.
“They were really good,” Hale said. He called their performance “an interesting bit of cinematic programming people don’t necessarily have access to.”
The performance at the Bing is part of a national tour of the group who will also be appearing in Pennsylvania, Virginia and one other community in Massachusetts. Brendan Cooney wrote the score for the film. To learn more about the group go to www.notsosilentcinema.com
Prior to their appearance at the Bing, the group will be recording their score for “The Cabinet for Dr. Caligari” at Rotary Records in West Springfield for the first release DVD release under the Bing label, Hale said.
He added the “cozy” performance area of the Bing is “very good for live music.”
“The Cabinet for Dr. Caligari” was described by Hale as “a film with enormous influence on the German Expressionist movement, it is widely viewed as one of the greatest horror motion pictures of the silent era.”
The film stars Conrad Veidt in one of his first screen roles. American audiences bets remember the actor for his role as “Maj. Heinrich Strasser” in “Casablanca.”
Hale said he would like to program more classic films into the Bing.
Seating is limited and advance purchase is recommended. Tickets are $20 and available at www.BingArtsCenter.org
or by calling 731-9730. Hale said that some tickets might be available at the door, but he expects a sell-out.
“It’s a fun event and a chance to do something unusual,” Hale said.
This special event is made possible in part by funding from Hampden Bank Foundation.