Pioner Cinema » The Hands of Orlac
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  • Horror
  • |
  • 1924
  • |
  • 92 min.
  • |
  • Germany, Austria
  • director: Robert Wiene
  • cast: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Kortner, Carmen Cartellieri, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas
  • language: Silent film
  • restrictions: 16+

“Pushkinsky / Pioner: Screen Expositions”. Together with the exhibit “Caravaggio and His Followers”. Light Painting in Film: The German Classical School.

A screen adaptation of the novel of the same name (German: “Orlacs Hände”) by Maurice Renard about a pianist, who lost both hands in a railway disaster and has them replaced with hands transplanted from a guillotined murderer. It was filmed in 1924 by the director Robert Wiene, and the great actor Conrad Veidt was invited to play the main role — the same Veidt who, in his first film, “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari,” played the sleepwalker Cesare. The style of expressionism in the film combines with the achievements in psychological realism of ‘Kammerspielfilm.’ Cinematographers Günther Krampf and Hans Androschin used ‘light painting’ — the interweaving of bright and dark areas in one frame, bright accents on Orlac’s face and arms, and shadow play — to masterfully create a tense atmosphere of action, which successfully communicates his growing fear of his murderous instincts, allegedly brought out by the hands of another.

Opening remarks by Dr. Mikhael Vedel. Musical accompaniment by Filipp Cheltsov. The film will be shown in 35 mm print.


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