A man looking at exhibits in a waxworks museum


Paul Leni | Germany | 1924

Director: Paul Leni
Producers: Leo Birinsky, Alexander Kwartiroff
Screenplay: Henrik Galeen
Art directors: Paul Leni,
Fritz Maurischat, Alfred Junge
Cinematography: Helmar Lerski
Emil Jannings (Haroun al Raschid)
Conrad Veidt (Ivan the Terrible)
Werner Krauss (Jack the Ripper)
Wilhelm Dieterle (Young Poet/Assad/Groom)
Olga Belajeff (Showman’s Daughter/Zarah/Bride)
Paul Biensfeldt (Grand Vizier)

Rating: PG Runtime: 82 minutes

After the success of 2022’s screening and performance of Faust, Wellington Film Society is showing another German expressionist classic with live musical accompaniment.

Here’s what you said about that performance…

  • Fabulous and spectacular – what a treat, worth waiting 2 years for : )
  • The music was phenomenal!
  • Just simply amazing. The musical score complemented the film in an extraordinary manner.
  • I’d sell my soul for more live cinema in Wellington.
  • An incredible evening of film and music.

Erika Grant, Rosie Langabeer, Isaac Smith and Neil Feather composed and performed the amazing, vibrant and distinctive score for Faust.

So we are super excited to have them back to provide the live music for the screening of Waxworks.

Waxworks was directed by Paul Leni in 1924 and was enough of a hit that he was able to move from Weimar Germany to the States where he made a number of Hollywood films.

The film is an anthology, with each of its three parts taking on a different tone and central character: The Caliph of Baghdad, Ivan the Terrible and Jack the Ripper respectively. These stories are linked by a framing device in which a young poet visits a wax museum to write backstories about the historical figures.

Anthology films have since become a staple, particularly in the horror genre, with works from Dead of Night, to Black Sabbath, all the way to the V/H/S franchise, offering different takes on the format in the century since Leni pioneered it. With backing from Wellington musicians, this screening should expand the boundaries of the conventional cinema experience.

Presented in cooperation with Goethe-Institut. Members free – public by koha at the door.


Aug 21 2023


6:15 pm - 7:40 pm