Golem-A-Go-Go


Black Francis, The Golem – I’m not too keen on the “hardest-working person” title, but it definitely seems like Charles Thompson (AKA Black Francis, AKA Frank Black) is pretty far up there. He’s quite eclectic, too, with a project he did last year being a new soundtrack for the 1920 German silent film Der Golem. Directed by Paul Wegener, who also played the title role, the movie is based on the story of the Golem of Prague. To sum up this legend, it tells how Rabbi Loew built and animated a clay golem to protect the Jews of the ghetto from persecution by the Holy Roman Emperor, but it eventually went crazy and had to be deactivated. Not only is this a famous tale in and of itself, but it was quite likely an inspiration for every science fiction story of robots gone berserk. The movie is one of the more famous portrayals of the Golem story, and while quite simplistic in its acting, effects, and storytelling, there’s a look to the film that I really like. More girls today need to sport Miriam’s long front pigtails.

I’m not sure why Wegener’s Golem has that weird hairstyle (would that be considered a pageboy?), but it’s become pretty recognizable.

Remember when he appeared in a Simpsons Halloween episode?

Anyway, my wife actually gave me the deluxe edition of the soundtrack several months ago, but while I listened to the music and liked it, I didn’t get around to watching the film until today. It’s not just a score but complete songs with (English) lyrics, very much in Francis’ style. At first it seemed rather incongruous to be watching a movie that old accompanied by rock music (and rock music with a lot of horns, at that), but once I got used to it, I found that it really did help to set the mood for the scenes. This is an unusual project, but an interesting one. I’m pretty sure the limited edition is no longer available, but you still can get the DVD with the score, or the album of the film’s best stand-alone songs.

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This entry was posted in Albums, Judaism, Music, Mythology, Religion, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Golem-A-Go-Go

  1. vilajunkie says:

    Wait, so on the limited edition there’s the film but using Frank Black’s soundtrack instead of the original?

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