Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hallowe'en: Biscuits and Blood-Sucking






















Dracula Jolly Ginger from Biscuiteers

Hallowe'en (or Samhain for our Pagan readers) is upon us. It's not something we celebrate in any significant way at Tweed Towers, but we will try and make the day a little spookier than normal.

For example, we might substitute our tea time assortment for a plate of terrifying Hallowe'en biscuits from London-based family firm Biscuiteers. That's Dracula Jolly Ginger above.

And instead of watching Room with a View for the umpteenth time, we might watch Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre.

I think that's enough.

Nosferatu — Phantom der Nacht

















If a stake were being held to my undying heart, I might say that Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of Nosferatu the Vampyre is my favourite (traditional) horror film.

I'm very pleased to say that Nosferatu the Vampyre has now been remastered and re-released on blu-ray [Amazon].






























The film has a dream-like quality, and is very slow-paced, with ponderous dialog-free long shots and long takes of scenery — mountains, forests, and the lovely city of Delft (standing in as the Hanseatic town of Wismar). This may be considered to be its main strength (or its weakness if you are fidgety juvenile). You are being asked to reflect on the existential themes of the story.

The film could be viewed as an elegy, but here it is a lament for the undead. Our vampire is suffering, lonely and in despair: "The absence of love is the most abject pain."

Klaus Kinski is perfect as the blood-sucking predator. Isabelle Adjani is ravishing (and moreish) as his ultimate prey, and saving grace, Lucy.

The beauty of the cinematography is underpinned by a soundtrack of suitably melancholic gothic by German 'kosmische musik' band Popol Vuh.


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