Nosferatu – The Film Syllabus – #10

It’s the most wonderful time time of the GoodTrash year–Shocktober! And we are celebrating even with our hifalutin film podcast The Film Syllabus. To contrast with the recent GoodTrash GenreCast episode covering Shadow of the Vampire, Dustin and Alexandra are talking about the 1922 F.W. Murnau film Nosferatu. In this episode, our hosts discuss the importance of this film, the historical nature of vampires, and the cultural ramifications from the symbol of the vampire itself.

This classic piece of silent film is the third and only surviving adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Max Schreck delivers a shocking and frightening performance as Count Orlok. This piece of cinema is a must watch by cinophiles and the vampire obsessed alike. As discussed on Nosferatu’s wikipedia article:

It was ranked twenty-first in Empire magazine’s “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema” in 2010.In 1997, critic Roger Ebert added Nosferatu to his list of The Great Movies, writing:

Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in clichés, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films. The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires. … Is Murnau’s “Nosferatu” scary in the modern sense? Not for me. I admire it more for its artistry and ideas, its atmosphere and images, than for its ability to manipulate my emotions like a skillful modern horror film. It knows none of the later tricks of the trade, like sudden threats that pop in from the side of the screen. But “Nosferatu” remains effective: It doesn’t scare us, but it haunts us.

 

So is Nosferatu something to add to your 31 Days of Halloween movie marathon? Our hosts think so. Gaze into the mirror, listener, and perhaps you’ll find a reflection of cultural fears and perhaps even your own in the 1922 classic Nosferatu. 

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