The Hands of Orlac (1924) is a silent psychological thriller directed by Robert Wiene, best known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). The main character, Paul Orlac (played by Conrad Veidt, who also starred in Caligari) is a concert pianist who loses his hands in a railway accident. He undergoes an experimental surgical procedure and gets the hands of an executed murderer grafted onto his wrists. After the surgery, Orlac slowly descends into a state of paranoia and near madness, exarcebated by a series of killings that seem to be commited by him. In this scene, Paul Orlac confronts the doctor who performed the hand transplant, after a mysterious note reveals to him the identity of the unwilling donor.

For the design of the soundtrack I imagined Orlacʼs “point of hearing” by implying his uncanny state of mind as he questions his sense of self, will power and rationality.


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