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Sat, Oct 29


Epsilon Spires

Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) w/ Live Soundtrack by The Anvil Orchestra

The Original German Expressionist Arthouse Horror classic that inspired Virginia Woolf, David Bowie and Tim Burton... brought back to life with an energetic new musical score by The Anvil Orchestra featuring Terry Donahue (Alloy Orchestra) and Roger Clark Miller (Alloy Orchestra, Mission of Burma).

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Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) w/ Live Soundtrack by The Anvil Orchestra
Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) w/ Live Soundtrack by The Anvil Orchestra

Time & Location

Oct 29, 2022, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, and directed by Robert Weine.

"The iconic avant-garde, Surrealist fever dream, Cabinet of Dr Caligari still feels profoundly modern after 102 years since it's first release. Production designers Walter Reimann, Walter Röhrig and Hermann Warm created a harrowing world of dark alleys, imposing rooftops and vertiginous staircases. Large shadows and occult symbols painted onto whitewashed walls resemble a bizarre visual-art mash-up of Picasso, Dalí and Munch.

One of the most important and striking contributions to German expressionist cinema, Caligari is also a remarkable film of political reflection. The film examines such concepts as authority and conformity, while presenting a reflection on post-war Germany. Screenwriters Janowitz and Mayer were pacifists who met after World War I; and given their experiences with the war, both men came to distrust the German military and government, and this manifested in the creation of the symbolic figures of Dr. Caligari and Cesare. In his 1947 book, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film, Siegfried Kracauer states that Caligari is symbolic of the unlimited authority and idolizing of power displayed by the German war government. John D. Barlow, who wrote German Expressionist Film (1982), shares a similar sentiment, stating that Caligari is the tyrannical power that had plagued Germany at the time, with Cesare representing the citizen conditioned into obedience. Look out for the several details in the film that align with these thematic concepts. In exploring the political and societal struggles taking place within the country at the time, Caligari made for a profound look at Germany at the time of it's release, while holding continued significance today. As a film with such rich context, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a brilliant marriage between the need to create art to express struggle, and through its inventive narrative, the viewer is able to grasp concepts of tyranny and corrupt authoritarian ideals. 

Caligari has since become a classic. The film’s technical creativity and surrealist aesthetic continues to inspire filmmakers; its efforts to examine psychology have inspired storytellers to venture further into the horrors of the mind. Equally as important, the film’s reflection of real world issues has become an essential element of the horror genre; one of the leading artforms to confront the problems in our world." -Beth Daley, The Conversation

The Anvil Orchestra is Terry Donahue (Alloy Orchestra, Concussion Ensemble) and Roger Clark Miller (Alloy Orchestra, Mission of Burma, Trinary System). Their unique live musical performances to silent films transform the viewing experience for adults and children alike in locales across the United States and abroad. As two-thirds of Alloy Orchestra, Roger and Terry continue the tradition of high caliber compositions and performances. The Sound of Silent Film will live on in The Anvil Orchestra.

The Anvil Orchestra” is a name coined by film critic Roger Ebert. The first time the Alloy Orchestra played the Ebertfest, he incorrectly announced the group by that name from the stage. His creative word-play has now come full circle.

The group has always wanted to perform to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", as its unique mood suits their improvisational skills and unique sound palette perfectly. Roger C. Miller recently exhibited his art installation, 'Transmuting the Prosaic", at the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center in 2020, and has performed concerts both there and at Epsilon Spires. He has released over 50 albums as band leader or co-leader.


  • Dr Caligari w/ Live Soundtrack

    Admission for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari w/ Live Soundtrack. Tricks and Treats will be provided. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. $2 from every ticket goes directly towards the historic preservation of the venue. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

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  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    General Admission Tickets for this event are $20, and children under 14 w/and Adult are $10. Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, subsidized tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship. In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by sliding scale. Taking equity and inclusion into account, please pay what you can to help support the artists and venue.

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  • Pay It Forward Ticket

    I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work!

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