Irish Film Institute -Nosferatu the Vampire

Nosferatu the Vampire

Director: Werner Herzog


Inspired as much by F. W. Murnau’s 1922 silent classic ‘Nosferatu’ as Bram Stoker’s source novel, Herzog’s take on the Dracula myth is handsomely mounted and surprisingly erotic. The vampire becomes another of the director’s existential anti-heroes, an outsider who transcends the limits of human possibility and evokes the terrors of Nature in his wake. As Nosferatu, Klaus Kinski follows the Max Schreck make-up (from Murnau’s film) down to the bald pate and rat’s teeth, and gives the vampire count a sympathetically fragile aura. Herzog rather relishes the demonic plague unleashed by Nosferatu on the bourgeois community; at last something shocks them out of their smug complacency. Appropriately, this is one of the director’s most stylish films, with outstanding contributions from cinematographer Jorg Schmidt-Reitwein and composer Florian Fricke (of Popol Vuh fame).

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