CINEMA: Nosferatu the silent film celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The 2020s are going to be a mon­u­men­tal time for cin­e­ma. In 2020, the Ger­man expres­sion­ist film The Cab­i­net of Dr. Cali­gari passed the 100-year mark. On 4 March 2022, this hon­our was offi­cial­ly passed on to Nosferatu.

Nos­fer­atu is a mile­stone in more ways than one, and the sto­ry of its cre­ation is just as inter­est­ing as the sto­ry it depicts. While the film is a loose adap­ta­tion of Bram Stok­er’s nov­el, Drac­u­la, the inspi­ra­tion for the film actu­al­ly began with The Great War (WW1). Albin Grau, an occultist who was to become the pro­duc­er of Nos­fer­atu, said that the idea of mak­ing a vam­pire film came from a con­ver­sa­tion he had with a Ser­bian peas­ant. The peas­ant told him about his own expe­ri­ences with vam­pires in Roma­nia, known as Nos­fer­atu in the region.

After the war, Grau co-found­ed the Prana Film stu­dio along­side Enri­co Dieck­mann. The stu­dio was designed to pro­duce films focus­ing on the occult and the super­nat­ur­al. The two have com­mis­sioned Hen­rik Galeen to write the script for their vam­pire film. Galeen’s pre­vi­ous works at the time includ­ed The Golem, The Spin­ning Ball and Ros­wol­sky’s Mistress.

 Diek­mann and Grau asked for an adap­ta­tion of Drac­u­la, but there was a prob­lem… the two had not obtained the film rights! For this rea­son, some char­ac­ters, such as the vam­pire hunter Van Hels­ing, were delet­ed from the sto­ry and the main vam­pire char­ac­ter would be called Count Orlok instead of Count Drac­u­la. The names of the main cast mem­bers were also changed.

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