An ethereal “Nosferatu” and an austere doom-metal – Tone Madison

“Nosferatu: Phantom Of The Night” will be screened on October 2 at Léopold.

Along with other events, we recommend heading to Madison from September 26 through October 2.

We partner with the wonderful independent email newsletter Madison Minutes to bring you event recommendations each week. Some of these articles will appear in Madison Minutes‘ weekly event email, and all of which will appear here.

A few notes: This overview of events is, as before, selective and not exhaustive. Each week, we’ll focus on a handful of things our editors and writers find compelling, and that’s it. We will write a few and list a few more. It will take us some time to regain our full strength with this part of our coverage, as we have had so many other exciting and challenging things to work on lately. Please contact us with suggestions – and information about your event, as long as you are able to get it to us a few weeks in advance – at [email protected]SEPTEMBER 21


Afterglow at the Common Wealth Gallery, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free.

While Mitchell Tanis’ multimedia art exhibition Afterglow officially opens on September 24, audiences who can’t make it over the weekend will have one last chance on Monday to catch what looks to be an incredibly gripping screening. Afterglowwhich is entirely based on the concept of the emotional responses caused by day turning into night, presents what Tanis describes as “a creative expression of photography, art and design”.

In the preview images, Tanis’ work artfully conveys her desired intent; the three selections that Tanis sent to Your Madison evoked the sense of overwhelming wonder and personal calm that often accompanies nightfall. Melancholy, reflective and at times serene, Tanis’ vision, even abbreviated, is undeniably powerful. Afterglow seems like an exhibit that leaves a lasting impression. Afterglow will open in a screening that will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 and will continue from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Monday, September 26.


Steven Spoerl


Incredible but true at the UW Cinematheque. Doors at 6:30 p.m., screening at 7 p.m. Free.

Excerpt from Lewis Peterson’s review: Writer-director Quentin Dupieux excels at pushing genre configurations into absurd territory while his characters accept that same absurdity as banal or obvious. In the past, Dupieux has subverted the slasher genre in its international breakthrough Rubber (2010), police procedure in keep an eye out (2018), the police in general in Wrong Cops (2013), and the artistic inspiration itself in Reality (2014) and deer skin (2019). If there is a central idea that he explores in Incredible but true and other works, it is based on the question of each of us having an identity beyond social expectations and the technology we use and abuse. On the other hand, rarely will a director have made a declaration of intent as explicit as the opening speech of Rubber: Many things in art and life happen for no reason. It is up to the viewer to assign meaning to the events. Dupieux’s intention seems to be to amuse rather than inform. Human madness naturally provides good comedic material and, of course, resolution built into the story.

Mills Folly Microcinema: Feral Domestic (a trilogy by Dani and Sheilah ReStack) at the Arts + Literature Lab. 7 p.m. $5.


House of Lud, Beneath the Surface, Daughters of Saint Crispin at BarleyPop Live. Doors at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m. $5.

House Of Lud has seen a few iterations since its debut as a solo doom-metal release by Troy Peterson, who is also known for the varied electronic music and sometimes offbeat antics of his Kleptix project. For a time, House Of Lud took the form of a powerful live trio, recording the 2018 album old void. The latest version of the project, The tortuous and thorny path of judgmentoffers a different formation of three musicians: moving from guitar to bass, Peterson is joined by Joe Cummings on drums and Nick Venechuk on guitar.

Throughout it all, House Of Lud channeled their heavy riffs through a stark, murky, and (as the band’s name might suggest) deliberately removed lens from the modern world. Peterson tells Your Madison that House Of Lud has “retired into the shadows to write the best music possible and rehearse the best live set we could play, without talking about it at all.”

—Scott Gordon

Proud Parents, Cult Of Lip, Lunar Moth at Crystal Corner Bar. 9 p.m. $10.

After an excruciatingly long wait, Crystal Corner Bar is finally returning to Madison’s live music fold. One of the first queues the beloved indie bar/venue will host is a classic encapsulation of what makes the Crystal so endearing to so many. Power-pop titans Proud Parents, shoegaze dreamy stalwarts Cult Of Lip and hard-hitting post-punk band Lunar Moth make up an engaging line-up that taps into three of Madison’s hottest punk subgenres.

Lunar Moth will be performing just weeks after the release of their latest single, “Sunshine Veins.” Cult Of Lip’s appearance will continue to establish the band’s new lineup/era, following the semi-recent addition of keyboardist Emili Earhart (an occasional Your Madison donor). Proud Parents will be making their first appearance on a mainstream bill in some time. Previously, Proud Parents’ last two Madison appearances were both festival slots (Orton Park and the Dirtnap Super Show Extravaganza) in which the band delivered typically high-energy sets. All three acts will have good reason to play hard, which can only benefit the audience.

—Steven Spoerl

Poetry Monsters: Dantiel W. Moniz, Sasha Debevec-McKenney, Matt Hart, Gregory Zorko at Genna’s Lounge. 6 p.m. Free.


Nosferatu: the ghost of the night on the terrace of Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè. 8 p.m. Free.

Start scary season and horror month off right with an outdoor screening of Werner Herzog Nosferatu: the ghost of the night (1979), a stylistic reinterpretation of FW Murnau’s silent classic of German Expressionism. It is also the last film of the season on Leopold’s terrace. (For those chilly nights, bring a blanket.)

Inspired by the romantic paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, Murnau’s 1922 film is often considered the archetype and mainstay of gothic horror cinema. Rather than trying to ape that aesthetic, Herzog leans into his own idiosyncratic inclinations at the height of his prolific era of new German cinema with an ethereal atmosphere and glowing mysticism.

Besides the comparative pleasures of casting and visual composition (including some shot-by-shot translations), ghost of the night benefits from a neoclassical new age score with raga rock accents by Popol Vuh. It distinctly shrouds the film’s otherworldly Transylvanian universe, which invites Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) to strike a real estate deal with Count Dracula (an ever-hidden Klaus Kinski, who adopts more humanistic traits than the macabre original Orlok by Max Schreck).

Herzog lends a progressively macabre sense of humor to the final act’s plague infestation. Consider the group dining sumptuously in the throes of death, overtaken by rats. But it’s Doctor Van Helsing (Walter Ladengast) who tries more soberly to counter the pervasive pessimism with a discourse on science ushering in a new world, lifting it out of literal shadow, as his rationality clashes with the woman of Jonathan, Lucy (Isabelle Adjani) superstitious faith.


If Murnau was constructing his own silent film language through 19th-century landscape paintings, Herzog and cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein may have borrowed theirs from Giorgio de Chirico, who was also a notable inspiration for Fumito Ueda and Team Ico when making one of the most influential adventure games of this century, Icon (2001).

—Grant Phipps


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