Nosferatu

Original film poster

It’s not that Nosferatu is my favourite film, horror or otherwise, but I do like it.  But, then I do enjoy silent films, German films, and well, I just like the films history and the script story-line.

It is an unauthorized version based off of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  It was released in 1922 through the newly created Prana Films in Germany.  The studio was named for the Buddhist concept of Prana; life force.  Nosferatu was the studio’s only film, as Stoker’s widow sued them for everything they had, since they never obtained any rights.  All copies were to be destroyed, but as the film had already been shipped off all over the world, that was rather impossible.  Also, early on, with the film itself and the fact that it was to be destroyed, it garnered a cult following with people trying to protect it.

The original score was lost long ago, so numerous musicians throughout the years have composed their own music for the film.  For the films release, people were encouraged to dress up in the Beidermeier style (1815 – 1848) which is when the film was set.

The film is set in a fictitious town in Germany.  A solicitor is sent deep into the Carpathian Mountains to help secure the purchase of a home in his village for someone who wishes to reside there.  It is Nosferatu.  His powers of manipulation can stretch across miles to encourage the solicitors employer.  The village below Nosferatu’s castle is filled with frightened villagers who won’t dare go up there.

Nosferatu sleeps in coffins filled with plague field dirt.  He ends up shipping several of these dirt filled coffins, along with himself back to the German village, but not before horrifyingly attacking the solicitor in the night.  He is racing home to protect is wife and his village, which are both sought after by Nosferatu.

The people along the destination think they are dealing with the plague, because unlike Count Dracula, Nosferatu sucks his victims dry and never turns anyone, plus there are rats living in his plague dirt.  Nosferatu arrives in the German village and people start dropping like flies.  The solicitor has made it home and embraces his wife.  She has been harassed by Nosferatu’s power ever since he happened upon the photo of her the solicitor carried with him.

The solicitor leaves to fetch help for his wife.  She has read part of the book her husband brought back with him; about Nosferatu and how to kill him.  She sacrifices herself to destroy the creature & lives only long enough after dawn to embrace her husband one last time.

But why am I discussing all of this?  Well, a band from Texas, The Invincible Czars, decided to write an original score for the film and tour a few cities with it.  My town was on the list.  I’ve seen the film numerous times, I even own it.  But to see it in my city, outside, with a live band doing an original musical score for it, and it costs nothing?  Why would I not go!  So I drug The Sister to go and see it with me.

She didn’t want to really, even though I painted a nice picture with the whole live band, original score, outside, free bit.  In the end, she did enjoy it though.  She’s funny.

In my city, there’s a local business of sorts, they are always showing films in the park downtown for free.  I love the idea, but it’s either films I don’t want to see, or the weather is dismally hot and humid.  But they partnered with a local record store in town and had this event on a grassy spot outside of the record store in Midtown… at night.  And the weather was nice, which I was very happy about.

Reel Fright Movie Night

My town called this the Reel Fright Movie Night, & they plan to do this sort of thing every year. That night there had been a system moving in, so that if it started raining, they’d just have it inside the record shop.  I’m glad that didn’t happen, because I told The Sister that we would just leave.

Nosferatu

This is the only photo I took of the film.  I’d already decided that this would be the scene I would photograph and I knew where it would come up in the film.  Plus, I was just busing enjoying the film.  Which this was not as easy as it might seem.

For some reason, where The Sister & I sat up our chairs was unanimously designated by other movie goes as the thoroughfare; & apparently no one can sit still through a film.  People were just walking to and fro going inside for coffee or beer or just promenading through there like it was a Sunday afternoon… like they weren’t interrupting the view for people who actually wanted to watch the film!  I’m sorry, but if you think you’re going to be getting up a lot and walking, sit over there on the right, off the edge, so that when you do these things you won’t be bothering anyone else.  Common sense, I would think.

There was one guy in front of us who got up off his blanket and just stood there, blocking the screen like it didn’t matter, waiting for his wife or girlfriend to hand him empty beer cans one at a time, very slowly, and then just didn’t seem to want to walk off.  Or the assholes behind us who though that since it was a silent film it was OK to talk during it.  I’m not kidding & they’d said exactly that before the film rolled.  Or the other assholes to the back and left of us who thought everything was the funniest thing ever!

Seriously, it’s not a funny movie.  It is not a comedy.  There are a very few bits that are humorous, but overall it is a scary film.  It might seem hokey because it’s not a high quality two thousand tens’ CGI over the top production, but it is really well made for the era.  Also really, one should be there to appreciate the art.  The art of film, the art of the silent film, the art of the silent film in Germany, and the art of a band who composed an original score based solely on interpreting what they saw and felt while watching this film.  No, they laughed at everything.  The score, a ship sailing on the ocean, some rocks.  I honestly don’t know why these people bothered showing up!

But I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists through the commotions so that I would not stand up and rip everyone a new one for being extremely rude and inconsiderate.  Oh, I wanted to!  But it would have made no difference and would have been extremely rude and inconsiderate of me to do to all the other people simply watching the film.  I’m sure I would have been more of a distraction and nuisance than the people who were already being jerks.

Yes, but besides the unintelligent people ruining the atmosphere, it was pleasant and really worth experiencing and I’m glad we went.

I won!

Also exciting is that they were having a raffle.  I’d read about it online before we went.  Tickets were a dollar, so I shoved two of them in my pocket before leaving the car, in cause we each wanted a ticket.  We were unsure at first, because when we asked what the prizes were they said “So many, too many to list” and only mentioned a tour of the local brewery, T-shirts, and a voucher for a local deli that is only just OK.

But after deliberating, we decided on just one ticket and hoped for the best.  After the film they were calling winning numbers, they did the brewery tour first, which I’m sure is a fabulous win… if you enjoy beer… which we do not.  Then they got to vouchers for Smoothie King… and we won, and there were actually two vouchers; one for Qdoba as well.  So, now we’ll split an entrée and a smoothie at some point.  We were excited.  We’re not people who typically win things, so unlike the woman who went up three times before us (and won two brewery tours), we’re excited to win and it feels fair and even which makes us even happier.

ReelFrightMovieNight5

While I was purchasing our lone raffle ticket, I noticed this sticker on the table among the other merchandise for the band.  I really liked it.  Though I did have a few extra dollars back in my wallet in the car, I thought, ‘If it’s a dollar or less, I will get one, otherwise no.’  It was one dollar.  It was exactly all I had left.  It felt like those quaint turn of the century stories like Road to Avonlea or like Pollyanna, ya know that time period; where a kid is sent into the town with hardly any money and it’s exactly enough to buy the two things they really want.  That never happens to me.  Things are always too much, even for the change I was given as a little kid.  So, it was just perfect the way that it all worked out.

Luminaries

I would also like to add that I’m sure many of you, southerner or not, are well aware of the stereotype that southerners are illiterate.  I now understand this.  We’re not illiterate, we’re just lazy… or dyslexic… or both.  When I’d first read about this event, I deciphered the bands name as The Invincible Czars, but somehow after that I couldn’t read Invincible anymore and they became the Invisible Czars… and I was not the only person that night to call them The Invisible Czars!  I only just now realized this and had to go and change my tags for a few of these photo’s on my Instagram account.  Whoops-a-daisy!

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