Original title: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht

Director: Werner Herzog

Cast: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz, Roland Topor

Germany-France 1978 | Colour | 107 mins

Avaliable on: DVD, DCP

Werner Herzog’s typically personal contribution to vampire lore is both a luminous tribute to the great Gothic landmarks of an earlier era of German cinema and a remarkably resonant and powerful film in its own right.
While echoing both Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and Murnau’s Nosferatu , Herzog’s account of the Harkers’ fateful encounter with the Transylvanian count is considerably more than just another horror movie. Klaus Kinski’s extraordinary, painstakingly detailed playing of Dracula produces rich undertones of melancholy – could the warmth of human intercourse ever compensate for the chilly tedium of immortality? – while Isabelle Adjani’s tremulous, wide-eyed performance, drawing on silent-movie tropes, brings a profound intensity both to Lucy’s anxieties and to her courage in protecting her husband Jonathan (Bruno Ganz). Often to the accompaniment of music by Wagner or Popul Vuh, Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein’s stunning images – whether of the Count’s castle in the Carpathian Mountains or of bourgeois Delft caught up in a crazed dance of death – both heighten and enlarge the drama. For Herzog, what’s at risk is not so much a hitherto happy marriage as humanity itself. Geoff Andrew

Released as part of the BFI’s UK-Wide Gothic Season.
For more information click here: www.bfi.org.uk/gothic