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Der Golem! February 23, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, music.

Here’s something I found interesting on a number of levels.

Firstly, it’s a 1920 black and white film of epic import, directed by Paul Wegener, and representing the pinnacle of German expressionist film making of the day.  The plot is something of a Frankenstein’s monster scenario and involves the persecution of the Jews in 16th century Prague, with Rabbi Loew creating a Golem out of clay to protect His people.  Predictably, the Golem runs amok, wreaking havoc on his creator, until he is subdued by a little girl.

Photographically, this film is amazing for both what it shows and what it implies,  the latter being a hallmark of late-silent-era black and white films and a skill set largely lost in today’s cinematic world.

Secondly, every bit of the sound you’ll hear in this clip was created live on stage in a single take by the amazing Gary Lucas, one of my all-time favorite guitar players.  He honed this piece and took it on tour with the film, earning kudos from critics and guitar monsters alike, and deservedly so; it’s almost incomprehensible that this is a live solo performance.

Anyway, here’s a five minute excerpt (the beginning) of the silent classic, Der Golum, with live accompaniment by Gary Lucas:

If you’re interested in guitar playing, you might want to see what else this guy Gary Lucas can do with one.  Check out this four part 1998 Slovenian documentary series to see.

But really, it’s for serious guitar afficionados, so don’t feel obliged to check it out if that’s not your thing.


1. Bobbie - February 24, 2009

This is an amazing piece.. I always enjoy the old silent films. The music was certainly something special. Thank you for this.

2. Bobbie - February 24, 2009

Thank you again! I’ve been listening to the series. Really haven’t words. My son-in-law is going to go crazy for this when he hears it.

3. sherry - February 24, 2009

i love these old films. the cabinet of dr. caligari is a favorite.

the sets are something!

4. Roger Nehring - March 17, 2009

You should check out Blue Dahlia’s music for the film, Nosferatu. Alas, they aren’t on youtube. BD is a group of singers and musicians from Kalamazoo MI. Very creative.

5. littlebangtheory - March 17, 2009

Roger, welcome, and thanks for the tip. How do I find a sample of Blue Dahlia’s music? It sounds interesting!

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