UCCA Beijing

Sarah Morris Exhibition-related Screening Series: Master Manipulators Live Musical Accompaniment by Sound Sculpture

2018.5.12 - 2018.6.3

Cinema Arts
Location:  Auditorium
Language:  Silent films with Chinese and English subtitles

In conjunction with the exhibition “Sarah Morris: Odysseus Factor” running from March 24, 2018 to June 17, UCCA presents “Master Manipulators,” a two-part screening series featuring two silent German films featured in Morris’ work: Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse the Gambler. Both screenings will feature live musical accompaniment by Sound Sculpture.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse the Gambler were created in Post World War I Germany, reflecting the psyche of a traumatized nation. Both films are considered quintessential examples of German Expressionist cinema, and depict the senseless brutality of authority with main characters who are skilled at using psychology to manipulate others for their own ends.

Ambient/psychedelic band Sound Sculpture will be improvising live music to both films. Lead singer Fenni, known for her high unique voice, along Layer (Italy) on synthesizer, and Nico (Italy) and Yan Zeng (China) on base and drums, will sculpt a unique sound that places viewers in an alternate dimension, creating an unparalleled viewing experience.


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

UCCA Member: 50 RMB

Adult: 80 RMB

Dr. Mabuse the Gambler

UCCA Member: 60 RMB

Adult: 180 RMB


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*Collect your ticket from reception 30 minutes before the event begins;

*Please no late entry;

*Seating is limited, and tickets must be collected individually;

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May 12 (Sat) 19:30-20:45 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

June 3 (Sun) 15:30-20:00 Dr. Mabuse the Gambler

About the films

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Director: Robert Wiene

Year: 1920

Duration: 67 minutes

Country: Germany

Language: Silent with Chinese and English subtitles

Synopsis: Francis and his friend Alan encounter Dr. Caligari at his show in a town fair in Germany. Proclaimed hypnotist Caligari opens a box to reveal his clairvoyant somnambulist Cesare. Cesare then predicts Alan’s death, and by morning his chilling prophecy has come true—making Cesare the prime suspect. Is Cesare guilty, or is it actually the doctor pulling the strings? Quintessential German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari explores the theme of irrational and sadistic authoritarianism, and continues to play a major influence on horror and noir films.

Dr. Mabuse the Gambler

Director: Fritz Lang

Year: 1922

Genre: Suspense/Thriller/Crime

Country: Germany

Duration: 297 minutes

Synopsis: The original German title, Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, makes use of three meanings of the word “Der Spieler,” which can mean gambler, puppeteer, or actor. In the film psychologist Dr. Mabuse, is a notorious gambler, manipulator, and master of disguise, seeking to gain a fortune and run Berlin.

Performing Group

Sound Sculpture

Established in 2012, Sound Sculpture is interested in exploring the possibilities for improvised ambient music. During their performances, Sound Sculpture’s four members meld their distinct styles to create cohesive pieces that oscillate between ambient and psychedelic music. In recent years they have expanded their performance venues by playing in a number of galleries and other art spaces, and doing live accompaniments to silent films and dance performances. The group includes Fenni (China) as vocalist, Layer (Italy) on synthesizer, and Nico (Italy) and Yan Zeng (China) on base and drums.

Projection Support


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