Listing for Thursday's Cine Salon:
THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE
(1921, Dir. Victor Sjöström)
IMDB.com plot summary:
It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom Chariot, the one that picks up the souls of the dead... David Holm, one of the three drunkards, dies at the last stroke of midnight...
The original silent horror classic by pioneering Swedish film maker Victor Sjöström, featuring an intense new soundtrack recorded exclusively by KTL (Stephen O'Malley of SUNN O))) & Peter 'Pita' Rehberg. What an absolute joy this is. Alongside Danish masterpiece Haxan (1922), Victor Sjostrom's The Phantom Carriage (1921) must rank as one of the foremost, influential horror films ever made. The imagery and pioneering technical achievements make this an absolute must for anyone with the remotest interest in the genre. The merits of the film are easily enough to warrant a purchase, but add to that the fact that Boomkat favourites KTL have supplied a soundtrack to this seminal work and you've got a done deal. Peter Rehberg and Stephen O'Malley must rank as the ideal soundtrackers to a film of this ilk, the duo brilliantly accompanying the grainy, macabre tone of the film without ever trying to steal the spotlight. The film's plot is based around a legend that suggests the very last person to die on a New Year's Eve, if he or she is sinful is condemned to drive the Phantom Carriage for the following year, picking up the souls of the dead - it's basically like scoring some work experience as the Grim Reaper. The double exposure techniques used to render the carriage and its hooded, scythe-bearing driver must have scared the life out of audiences in the early 1920s, and they're still profoundly eerie and resonant. This is after all a film which helped establish the language of the cinematic ghost story.