Often regarded as the height of German expressionism, the silent, black and white film “The Golem” (also known in it’s German form, “Der Golem”) was the last of a series of three films by director Paul Wegener and was released in 1920.
Set in the 16th century, “The Golem: How He Came Into The World” tells the story of the persecution of the Jews of Prague. The towns Rabbi (Rabbi Loew), foreseeing these events, constructs a giant ‘Golem’ out of clay in order to protect his people. Mayhem ensues when the creature rebels and begins to destroy the ghetto. The highly expressionistic imagery seen in the film was captured by legendary cinematographer Karl Freund, who went on to do the classic “Metropolis” in 1927.
Groundbreaking as it was, the film sat ‘silent’ for nearly 88 years until the San Francisco International Film Festival requested Black Francis score the film and perform it live for their annual film festival in April, 2008. Despite the sold out show at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre (with a line stretching around the block) the score has never been performed live since. However, BF recorded the resulting double album in a matter of days in SF at Hyde Street Studios, with help from longtime collaborator/producer Eric Drew Feldman. The album features Black Francis on vocals/guitar, the late Duane Jarvis on lead guitar, EDF on keys, Joseph Pope on bass, Jason Carter on drums and Ralph Carney on horns.
In early 2010 the double album, along with the recordings of the live performance in 2008 and the DVD was compiled into a special, limited edition booklet. Only 500 copies were released and sold exclusively through the Black Francis web store.