Halloween special event: “The Phantom Carriage” silent film screening with live score by Light Upon Blight Fri., Oct. 25, at 8 PM

Avant-garde rock group Light Upon Blight Ensemble returns for their fifth annual Halloween special on Friday, Oct. 25, this time improvising a live score to the 1921 silent film “The Phantom Carriage,” directed by Victor Sjöström. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range). Costumes and other Halloween trick or treatery are encouraged and welcomed.

“The Phantom Carriage” has been cited as the movie that inspired Ingmar Bergman’s career in cinema. (Decades later, director Victor Sjöström played a professor facing his own mortality in Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries.”) From the Chicago Reader synopsis: “The story, told through a complex flashback structure, resembles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol: a self-destructive and irresponsible man has a brush with the “carriage of death,” which allows him to review his life.”

From Dave Kehr’s New York Times review of the 2011 Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray release:

Based on a novel by Selma Lagerlof, the film blends an Ibsen-like psychological naturalism with a cosmic, folkloric perspective… The morbid subject matter suggests the Expressionist films then being made in Germany (Fritz Lang’s “Destiny,” also released in 1921, immediately comes to mind), but Sjostrom avoids the stylistic extravagances of the Germans. There are no distorted sets or dramatic shadows but rather a kind of heightened intimacy: small rooms with rough walls and bare floors, cramped quarters for a filmmaker whose earlier work (“The Outlaw and His Wife,” 1918) was celebrated for its expressive use of open landscapes.

Light Upon Blight will be Jeff Cedrone (guitar, synth, piano), Bob Gorry (guitar), Lys Guillorn (lap steel guitar), Benjamin Hecht (bass), Rob Nelson (keyboards), Vance Provey (trumpet), and Peter Riccio (drums, percussion).

Previous Light Upon Blight live soundtracks: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, Nosferatu, Carnival of Souls, Eraserhead, and Faust.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.