28 Oct
The Pixies frontman scores 1920's cinematic masterpiece

When one hears that Black Francis, frontman to the peerless Pixies (where he was known as Frank Black, of course), is scoring a film the hair on the back of any music lover’s neck should tingle with glee. Seeing as his “Where Is My Mind” was the soundtrack to the best climax in a 90s film, the potential is eye opening. But when you realize the film he’s scoring is a silent film, The Golem: How He Came Into The World, the possibilities are all the more intriguing. Although not a commercial success when released in 1920, The Golem (or otherwise known as Der Golem in original German title) is often regarded as the height of German expressionism. The movie is the last in a trilogy directed by Paul Wegner, and was filmed by the legendary cinematographer Karl Freund — who went on to do the classic Metropolis in 1927. The Golem takes place in 16th century Prague during the persecution of Jewish civilians. To protect his people from the dangers that lie in the streets of their town, Rabbi Leow decides to take matters into his own hands by naively constructing a Golem out of clay. But of course, as with any classic horror story, something goes terribly awry when the moronically coifed Golem begins to rebel against his creator, destroying the ghetto and further endangering the people he was molded to protect. Sound familiar? After 88 years of the lost film remaining in its original silent state, the San Francisco International Film Festival requested the help of Black Francis to bring the film back to life. So Black scored the entire film, and in 2008 performed his live score while the film rolled at an utterly sold out show in San Francisco’s Castro Theater. Although the response from both film and Francis fans alike was overwhelming, that was the only night the soundtrack was ever to be heard. So Black secluded himself into a studio with longtime collaborator/producer Eric Drew Feldman and recorded a double album of the score. Featuring Black on vocals and guitar, Duane Jarvis on lead guitar, EDF on keys, Joseph Pope on bass, Jason Carter on drums and Ralph Carney on horns, the album was finished within a matter of days. Early this year the double album (along with recordings from that live performance and a DVD) were compiled into a special 500-copy limited edition package which, guess what, completely sold out. So to please the people, on November 16th Francis will be releasing the The Golem Rock Album, a one hour rock opera derived from the original two-disc album. Wrapped in an co-friendly packaging, including a DVD with the complete score, The Golem Rock Album will be sold through either the Black Francis website or Amazon. Too bad it won’t be out for Halloween, would make a great way to kick off this weekend.

See a teaser trailer below, or hit the Jump to see the entire 1 hour 20 minute film scored by Frank Black…

The Golem – Black Francis from Black Francis on Vimeo.

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