Journalism: Reviews: Music: Black Francis - The Golem

From the Ghettoblaster Magazine

Black Francis - The Golem

Black Francis' score for the 1920 German Expressionist film Der Golem is full of what he does well: write gritty, catchy songs with themes of religious esoterica that made the Pixies an important post-punk/pre-grunge band.

Although the project's marketing tells us that The Golem had been "silent" (unscored) for 90 years until Francis took it on, Gary Lucas has been performing his version at screenings since the early '90s. The movie, a lugubrious telling of on the cabbalistic legend of a Rabbi's clay monster is visually and thematically similar to Fritz Lang's Metropolis but holds little interest for modern eyes – lots of light and shadows.

I watched the film on vimeo and was perplexed. The songs do not match the action on screen; and Francis' lyrics are full of anachronisms and random biblical references. More incongruous are his country vocal stylings and southern guitar riffs on top of the film's images of hooked nose medieval Jews in wizard caps. The effect is like seeing the original Jazz Singer with a score by Charlie Daniels. Essentially Francis uses The Golem as his muse and presumably he explains himself in the book that accompanies the signed and numbered CD/DVD set, but something tells me that this dog isn't kosher.