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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vampyr (1932) - Carl Theodor Dreyer

There is a large gap between the height of expressionism and this French-German, Danish directed mock silent picture. Vampyr, otherwise known as Not Against The Flesh, is a fantastic post-expressionist film. In that manner, that the art is very dark and the shadows  do their jobs to the settings. You can really feel the pre-war Germany in this one. They even reference the silent era by sneaking Title Cards in during the non existent dialogue. 

This is a beautiful film about a town terrorized by Vampyrs that lure people out of town to commit suicide. This turns out to be a clever ploy to enhance the numbers of Satan's army. Allen Gray is a wanderer that studies the occult and gets folded into this tale of mystery and the macabre. This really interesting film held my interest all the way through and left me wanting to recommend it to anyone wanting to listen. If you liked Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or any pre-war Germany expressionist pictures like Metropolis, then you will most likely love this.

The movie has a pretty strange history as it was not well received in Nazi Germany when it was released. It was panned and sent into obscurity for some time. It became a cult hit with classic film buffs and vampire enthusiasts and should be appreciated more than Twilight. Perhaps if Twilight was shown in Berlin on election night in 1932 it would have done far better than this. 

I cant go on!

  • This was the first sound picture for Carl Dreyer who had to make sure that it was translated into three languages. 
  • Nicolas de Gunzburg portrayed Allen Gray under the screen-name Julian West.
  • Filmed on location in France.

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