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Dracula - Nosferatu Comparison.

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Introduction

25/11/2002 Dracula-Nosferatu Comparison. I have recently watched clips from the beginnings of two vampire movies. The two films were, of course, very different things. One was 'Nosferatu' a product of the 1920's. I am lucky to have seen it considering how it was banned by a judge of the time and all copies ordered destroyed. Of course as attitudes change in cinema and with the introduction of the BBFC 'censorship' system it was released again. The other movie though was a completely different kettle of marine life; it was 'Bram Stokers Dracula' and bore about as much resemblance to Bram Stokers story as myself to a chimp. If it was named 'Parody Of Bram Stokers Dracula', 'Allegorical Tale Featuring Characters Based On Bram Stokers Dracula', I would understand. Maybe even 'Shameless Cash In On The Name Of Bram Stoker' would be more appropriate. The reason for the differences? ...read more.

Middle

These and other social factors influenced the making of the films to a great extent, while 'Nosferatu' was considered scary at the time of its making, most of the enjoyment derived from it by a modern audience is either amusement at the primitiveness of the effects or a vague and slightly misplaced nostalgia for a era of time most never witnessed. Technology of course allows the audience to be shocked in every more inventive ways until eventually old techniques seem simple and become ineffective. The approach to castles in the film is a good example of this. 'Nosferatu' is of course all soundless so the coach journey features many statements to explain what's happening (held up on card of course). The journey is filmed in daylight so at the beginning the driver announces "it is almost midnight!" This is slightly bizarre as the sky is rather bright but fortunately the effect is aided by the bats which were specially trained to fly in daylight. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scenery and building wholly unreal of course and the construction of it is only limited by the imagination of the designers. Sound is a important part of the movie and is very different to 'Nosferatu'. The soundtrack sounds like it has been create by the Royal Philharmonic though it has probably never been played on an instrument. The biggest change is perhaps in that the sound is not being played in an orchestra pit at the cinema but is part of the movie. This allows speech and subtitles in a way which allows the actors a means of expression which was only partially available to the thespians of the 1920's. They can change the sound and texture of their voices and emphasise in their speech. In conclusion I can state that the movies are both the same movie but with radically different technologies and social constraints limiting them. The only obvious difference is that 'Bram Stokers Dracula' and authorisation from Bram Stokers Estate while Nosferatu did not. Strangely 'Nosferatu' remained truer to the original tale. ...read more.

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