The Cat and the Canary
Spuk im Schloß
USA 1927, S/W, 82:00 Min.
Regie: Paul Leni
DarstellerInnen: Laura La Plante,
Creighton Hale, Forest Standley u.a.
Live-Vertonung Oliver Prechtl
Is this a haunted mansion? In his will, the old eccentric Cyrus West had stated his vast estate is to be handed down to his relatives only 20 years after his death. Once the day has come, the hopeful heirs are quick to arrive at the mansion but to their surprise West has passed on his riches to the young Annabelle West – unless there is proof she is insane. Soon the weirdest things start happening at West’s mansion causing unrest for even the most balanced temper. When Mr. Crosby, the family’s advocate, suddenly disappears from the mansion’s library it is just the beginning of a course of grizzly events.
After finishing an apprenticeship as an artist metalworker, director Paul Leni (1885–1929), born in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, began working at the Academy of Fine Arts Berlin as painter, stage designer, cartoonist and graphic designer and designer of posters and advertisements for film companies. He worked with the director and producer Joe May for many years and in 1916 – having been drafted into the military – he directed the film “Der Feldarzt” (“The Army Doctor”) for the Department of Pictures and Films. Alongside his drafts for Ernst Lubitsch and Joe May, he realized his own films – mainly as director and set decorator – such as the melodrama “Prima Vera” (1917), the adventure “Das Rätsel von Bangalor” (1917), the fairy tales “Dornröschen” (1917), “Prinz Kuckuck” (1919) as well as the drama “Patience” (1920). This was followed by a very prolific time in Hollywood with some both commercially and artistically successful films such as “The Cat and the Canary” (1927) und “The Man who laughs” (1928), which made Leni a pioneer in the horror movie section.
In his musical work, Oliver Prechtl explores the links of solo and chamber music literature in the context of both classical music and performance practice of New Music. Here, his focus is on the equal status of classical and modern instruments combined with new media. His activities are dedicated to inter-regional networking of musicians and sound artists but also interdisciplinary work. He is the pianist of Ensemble Percorda and has currently worked with Matthias Schneider-Hollek, Lokale Gruppe, Torsten Papenheim, Daniel Kartmann, Chris Furby, Alexandra Mahnke and Utopienwerkstatt. In 2015, a compilation titled “Ritornell” with recordings of various collaborations with groups such as Akkordsport or ZAUN among others was released on vinyl.
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