The Phantom of the Opera (1925) + Thierry Escaich

The Phantom of the Opera
Director: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick
Writer: Walter Anthony, Elliott J. Clawson, Bernard McConville, Frank M. McCormack, Tom Reed, Raymond L. Schrock, Richard Wallace, Jasper Spearing
Based on: Gaston Leroux‘s novel
Cast: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe, Gibson Gowland, John St. Polis, Snitz Edwards, Mary Fabian, Virginia Pearson
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Thierry Escaich
Seen on: 12.2.2020

Plot:
The Opera in Paris haunted – but not by some specter, but by the Phantom (Lon Chaney) that dwells in the catacombs beneath the opera house. When the Phantom, himself a musical genius, realizes the talent of Christine (Mary Philbin), he makes sure that her career as a singer takes off. But ultimately, he wants Christine for himself – and that means getting her away from her fiancé Raoul (Norman Kerry).

The Phantom of the Opera is an absolute classic and with good reason, even if a lot seems cheesy from today’s perspective. Escaich’s accompaniment on the organ was the perfect choice for the film.

The film poster showing a drawing of the phantom diving after a boat.
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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) + Frank Strobel and ensembleKONTRASTE

All Quiet on the Western Front
Director: Lewis Milestone
Writer: George Abbott, Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews, C. Gardner Sullivan, Walter Anthony
Based on: Erich Maria Remarque’s novel
Cast: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy, Ben Alexander, Scott Kolk, Slim Summerville
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by: Manfred Knaak, conducted by Frank Strobel, played by ensembleKONTRASTE
[There are quite a few version of this movie, apparently. The one I saw was the 145 minute silent version*.]

Plot:
Paul Bäumer (Lew Ayres) is a young soldier in World War I. Spurred on by his class teacher, he and his class mates volunteered their services, but only little time later there numbers are already substantially reduced. That Paul is doing rather well for himself is mostly due to the seasoned soldier Kat (Louis Wolheim), who has a knack for organizing things. But war is still war.

The movie was very well made and interesting, maybe a tad too long. I did not like the accompanying music, though – it was a little too percussion-y for my taste.

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