Friday, January 14, 2011

"Well, he doesn't sparkle like a princess tiara!!"

quote brought to you by: Hailey Swafford
Nostferatu (1929) Directed by F.W. Murnau has to be one of the longest movies I have seen! Though it came out just two years before the Frankenstein film, it does not have any dialogue in it, concluding from that; it's a silent film.

I am pretty sure I would have FREAKED out if I had seen this in 1929. Max Schreck (Nosferatu) was grotesquely horrifying in every way possible. Very much like Cesare from the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, both Nosferatu and Cesare's look is to the extreme and frightening to anyone who sees them. While Cesare has the dark eye makeup and the dark hair, Murnau took Nosferatu even higher by adding pointed teeth and pointed nails. 

The way Nosferatu walked and carried himself also brought me back to Cesare. The two had an eerie persona. When Nosferatu rises out of the coffin on the boat, it is an extreme use of German Expressionism. German Expressionism is many times over while Nosferatu walks on the ship, appears through his coffin, and casts shadows on the walls, etc. It can be seen in Nosferatu and even in Frankenstein that American film was starting to find their own way. They use what they already know while trying to find their place amongst it all. This film is a good representation of what early American film had to offer to the world. They explored what exactly what they could accomplish by "slight of hand" tricks of moving doors and blankets without anyone seen moving them and making Nosferatu appear "out of thin air" as a ghostly image. These two "tricks" may be extremely easy for us now with the technology we have at our hands, but during this time film itself had just come into play and no one really knew the capabilities of the camera.

Nosferatu is a very important piece of film history and I recommend that every film fanatic watch it atleast once. So much of America's film history is seen in this movie.   


  1. So, why was it so long? Just because it was silent? Were you creeped out at all?

  2. I was creeped out by him..but yeah i guess i have been so spoiled by the dialogue that we have now that i would get bored and tired of hearing...nothing.. :)

  3. "So much of America's film history is seen in this movie." While I agree with this statement, my reasoning differs from your own. Nosferatu was an unauthorized adaptation of Stoker's 'Dracula'. Vampire became Nosferatu, and Count Dracula became Count Orlok. So, in essence, America's film history can be seen as ripping off ideas and having nothing original to contribute to World Culture. Cite 2 Fast 2 Furious (lol what is that even). This, in essence, is a representation of American culture, which tends to be a rip off of every other culture in the world (Panda Express, Taco Bell, every Disney movie).

    Count Orlok was awesome though lolol