Shadow Of The Vampire * E. Elias Merhige (2000)

A film about a film? Why not. Merhige made a film about the shooting of the classic vampire film “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens” (1922). John Malkovich plays director Murnau in his aim to make film more interesting than theatre. Murnau goes to extreme ends to make his film, from using stages to travelling long distances to shoot on location. Murnau wanted to turn Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” to film, but Stoker’s widow did not grand him the rights, so he created a ‘based-on story’ with Count Orlok instead of Dracula. Funny is the way of shooting the old film. The cameras have to be set to motion by hand and Murnau continuously talks to the actors (the cameras did not register sound anyway). The extra twist to the modern version is that Count Orlok is not actually played by an actor, but is an actual vampire that Murnau found. the result is an amusing film and a peek into the history of filmmaking.

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