Director: E. Elias Merhige
Writer: Steven Katz
Cinematographer: Lou Bogue
by Tory Maddox
This is a low budget film documenting the production of Nosferatu (1922) with a strange, and often unclear, examination into the man who played the iconic role. F.W. Murnau is played brilliantly by John Malkovich, who’s a crazed and obsessive director trying his best to keep the production together and get to the finish line. It’s a strange little film that I’ve never heard of.
Somehow I failed to notice that Willem Dafoe played Count Orlok. The role is brilliant as the character chooses to embody the vampire with the notorious Method style of acting, in which he refuse to ever break character throughout production, to the point of having many people question whether he may or may not be an actual vampire.
I didn’t really get the point of it all, though. The movie is fun. The sets are great. The characters are engaging. It just doesn’t really add up to all that much. The movie ends and I questioned everything I watched - how much of it was fact versus how much was fiction. Perhaps that was the point. It’s not a horror film, it’s not entirely biographical. It just exists. Like all movies chronicling the making of a film, there are the divas, the drug problems, the financial fall outs, the unexpected obstacles, and in this case, vampire rumors. It captures that short lived style of silent film direction, in which directors would narrate the emotions to the performers as the cameras rolled and it's interesting to watch. To think that such a legendary picture was so close to not existing is great. But if this movie never exited I wouldn't have been all that heartbroken.
BELOW: Meeting Court Orlok for the first time
Thoughts on films, old and new
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