Silent Movie Night - Nosferatu
Review by: Paul Towers, 04 January 2018
Presented and curated by Paul Kousoulides
Upstairs @ The Western, 4 January 2018 and every first Thursday of the month
'Silent Movie Night at The Western.'
A new year and a new idea for Leicester's only pub theatre. On the first Thursday of the month for the next six months they are showing classic silent movies. All of them (except the last one which is a modern classic) digitally restored and remastered with an orchestral soundtrack to enhance your enjoyment.
First off the rank was the classic German expressionist masterpiece, Nosferatu.
On release in 1922 (that makes it virtually 100 years old) it was a box office flop and when Bram Stoker's widow took the producers to court for plagiarism they lost the case and were instructed to destroy all copies. Fortunately for posterity some prints survived. This copy has obviously been cobbled together from different prints, witness the variations in colour of the monochrome. However, with a lush orchestral score over it this is not a distraction.
The story is lifted almost wholesale from Bram Stoker's Dracula, hence the court case. A na´ve young man leaves his new wife behind when he goes to Transylvania on business. He sells a house to Count Orlok (Dracula) who ships himself over in a coffin filled with the soil he was buried in where he sucks the blood of all and sundry. His spell is broken when the wife deliberately gives her blood to him and keeps him from his coffin after cock crow.
A substantial audience was very appreciative of the film and of Paul Kousoulides' expert background to the film and genre.
The next Silent Movie Night is on Thursday 1st February when they will be showing The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, another German classic of the genre.
Future gems are Buster Keaton's The General on 8th March, Chaplin's Modern Times on 5th April, The Passion of Joan of Arc on 3rd May and bringing us fully up to date, 2011's The Artist on 7th June
David Bell, Upstairs at The Western's artistic director, is currently open to suggestions for future collections of movies of all types. One idea is to have other silent movies but with a live piano/keyboard accompaniment. If that is something you could do, please email him via the website.
Another idea is perhaps for someone to suggest a theme for a night; maybe Mamma Mia for a birthday; maybe get your company to sponsor a movie night as a treat for their workers. David would love to hear any ideas you may have.
Upstairs at The Western http://upstairsatthewestern.com/
Paul Towers: http://ptheatre.blogspot.co.uk/