- F. W. Murnau
- Max Schreck
The first cinematic version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is still acclaimed as one of the most powerful films ever made. Murnau’s haunting masterpiece stars Max Shreck as the cursed count, and while all of the elements familiar from later Dracula movies are present — the fangs, the blood, the haunted castle — Murnau’s film is free of the cliches and melodrama. Instead, it offers a stark vision of the struggle between purity and evil, the living and the dead. With its innovative editing and special effects, Nosferatu was a cinematic landmark, and we’ll be screening the restored version with new English intertitles and meticulous color-tinting, just like the original 1920s prints.
The film will be accompanied by the Austin-based The Invincible Czars performing their original score that incorporates parts of Bela Bartok’s Six Roumanian Folk Dances and utilizes looping, samples and lead singer Leila Lovise’s effect-laden voice. The music is written for four players and includes electric guitar, bass, violin, keyboard, music box, synthesizer, bass clarinet, flute, glockenspiel, bass guitar and all manner of percussion. The band was part of a wave of acts that began creating new soundtracks for silent films at the original Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas in the 2000s. Unlike their peers, The Czars kept adding movies to their catalog, creating custom artwork and wardrobe and taking their shows farther and farther from home each year. They are regarded by many as the Alloy Orchestra of the South!
Cosponsored with the Cornell Council for the Arts, the Dept of German Studies, & the Wharton Studio Museum as part of Silent Movie Month in Ithaca!