The Unknown 0+

Tod Browning, USA 1927, no dialogues / English and Czech subtitles, 49 min
The Unknown

The Unknown is one of the final masterpieces of the silent film era. Suspend disbelief and step into the carnival of the absurd. Lon Chaney, the man of thousand faces, plays a criminal who hides his identity by wrapping up his arms such that he can appear as an armless man in a traveling circus. He falls in love with his beautiful assistant, but unfortunately for him she has a pathalogical fear of being touched by men. It is an entirely idiosyncratic work of art, which has never been remotely mimicked, nor could it be. Only Tod Browning, who would later make Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1932), could have directed this lurid, deliriously surreal end effectively perverse drama with strangely camp undertones. The silent film will be accompanied live by the vinyl sound alchemists Birds Build Nests Underground.

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