Spinema: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) + Der Todesking (1989) 30 October 20:30

(Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari)
Directed by Robert Wiene
80 minutes
In German title-cards with English subtitles

The classic German-expressionist silent horror film about a carnival performer who is hypnotised by the mysterious Dr. Caligari, and is sent out into the city streets (and rooftops) to commit a string of murders.

A special note: This screening will be the new uncut restored version of this twisted masterpiece which has been described as “the first true horror film’ and it will be the first time this restored version has been shown in Amsterdam.

This will be a HD projection.



(The Death-King)
Directed by Jörg Buttgereit
German with English subtitles
75 minutes

This is a rare fusion of arthouse experimental cinema, poetry and exploitation… director Jörg Buttgereit gives us a movie which is actually a mirror, and confronts us with death dead-on. It is composed of separate episodes, each taking place on a different day of the week, on the theme of death. The body of a naked man floats in darkness. Slowly stretching out from a fetal position, he begins to decompose. A little girl sits in a playground and scribbles in her notebook “Der Todesking” (The death-king), and then draws a haunting image. That’s how the film begins.

Der Todesking is the second feature (and probably the best film) of Jörg Buttgereit (creator of the notorious Nekromantik). It has no central character or storyline, but instead a thematic continuity about mortality and the final harvest of the grim reaper. The radical, transgressive, and avant-garde approach of Der Todesking explains why Buttgereit’s movies were often banned in Germany (their home country) for over a decade. This film is a perfect example of the underground filmmaking that was happening in Berlin in the 80s. Dark and sombre, but indescribably moving… it’s the kind of film that will haunt you. The vintage music soundtrack is also brilliant, and adds to the meditative quality of the film.

As one viewer concluded: “When I finally saw it, I knew that this film was priceless. It’s an essay on death, and more than that is an analysis on audiovisual violence. Der Todesking is an Art film with the soul of a Horror film. If I had to make a list of the best films that I’ve seen in my life this would definitely be in the top 10.

On the Korte Spinhuissteeg, a tiny alleyway just off Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
Free screening

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