atmospheric gothic masterpiece
I watched this film this weekend, with plenty of snuff to enhance the experience and I must say, I appreciate it far more then I did, around 5 years ago when I first watched this atmospheric gothic masterpiece, a remake of Murnau's Nosferatu from 1922. Where to start? First the film is incredibly atmospheric, more so in the earlier part of the film, with a soundtrack consisting of Wagner and Popul Vuh and shots of woods, a waterfall, mummies, caves, stock footage of a bat, and the beautiful Dutch city of Delft. The latter city, with its beautiful old buildings should be better know abroad then just Amsterdam. The two main characters are Klaus Kinsky as count Dracula, Kinsky being genuinely insane gives one of the best performances of vampire on the silver screen, this Dracula is morose, socially inept, but also hungry and predatory, Kinsky's stare and slow deliberate movement, mimick that of an animal creeping on its prey. The other is actress Isabelle Adjani who plays Lucy Harker, then wife of Jonathan Harker played by Bruno Ganz and while Ganz has an ok presence in this film, Adjani steals the second part of the film with her light, pale appearance, raven black hair and devotion to her husband. The story itself it generic, an estate agent, travels to Transylvania, to sell a house to a count, this count is a vampire and when this vampire moves into the houses he seduces the young maiden, a story thats been retold dozens of times, but what makes this one difference is that Dracula is not just a single agent, he seems to also be the embodiment of the plaque, wherever he goes diseases break out. This brings me to the last observeration, the film is peppered with wonderful death symbolism, from the gypsy boy playing violin, to Dracula's speeches on the loneliness of immortality and the latter scene in the film, when the plaque starts killing people and we see a dance of the death unfold. Clearly a wonderful multi-layered film, a must watch. Watch it in the original German, not the English dub, if you can.