Nos­fer­atu ( PG)

Mad­man ( 90 min­utes) $ 34.95

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Ros­alie Hig­son

THE 1922 black- and- white film di­rected by Friedrich Wil­helm Mur­nau can be seen in blurry, scratched ver­sions on the in­ter­net, but a de­cent copy of Nos­fer­atu, a Sym­phony of Hor­ror was hard to find. Re­vi­talised by Ger­many’s Bun­de­sarchiveFil­marchiv from a 1922 French tinted ni­trate print, miss­ing shots in this ver­sion were ob­tained from Ger­man and Czech safety prints in the 1930s. Lab work was done in Italy and the sound­track re­con­structed in Ger­many. In­ter­ludes are in Ger­man and English. Nos­fer­atu was based on Bram Stoker’s book even though the stu­dio couldn’t get the rights to the novel. When Stoker’s fam­ily sued, the stu­dio was shut down. Mes­sage: don’t mess with vam­pires. We all the know the story: A young man leaves his home and lovely young wife, trav­els to a spooky cas­tle in the Carpathian moun­tains to meet Count Or­lok, the Nos­fer­atu ( aka vam­pire). Horses take fright and vil­lagers cower at the men­tion of his name, and young Hut­ter ( Gus­tav von Wan­gen­heim) finds him­self holed up with a freaky Count who vants to drink his blurred. Hut­ter es­capes, but soon Or­lok is on a boat headed to the city. Any­one who comes near him dies, plague de­scends on the land, and only a wo­man pure of heart can rid the world of Nos­fer­atu and the evil that comes in his wake. Al­bin Grau’s pro­duc­tion de­sign and cos­tumes and Fritz Arno Wag­ner’s pho­tog­ra­phy were in­flu­enced by Ger­man ex­pres­sion­ism. The freak­ish Count Or­lok ( Max Shreck) is un­for­get­table: de­spite the old- fash­ioned over­act­ing, this is a gem.

EX­TRAS: Com­men­tary, doc­u­men­taries, es­say and im­age gallery

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