Thursday, May 22, 2008


So not doing to well on my resolution to keep the writing up but I've already ramped up my posting in the past month which is a good start. One new release that has caused me to start salivating in anticipation is the Criterion release of Vampyr by C.T. Dreyer. I've seen this before, but as of now it is only available on a poorly transfered DVD with subtitles that take up the bottom third of the screen, presented in a terribly annoying "creepy" olde english style font. You don't even really need the subtitles for this, as the spoken dialogue is sparse. You can enjoy this one on a purely visual level. To put it in musical terms, it's more tone poem than fully fleshed out composition. The mood and ambiance created by the visuals are so subtly disturbing that you all of the sudden find yourself in the grips of the terror, much like the proverbial frog in a pot of water slowly brought to boil. Imagine fever dream hallucinations in the bucolic environs of the French countryside and you're getting close. Particularly interesting are the scenes of the shadows on the wall that take divorce themselves from the objects casting them, and the fogged out twilight scenes. Legend has it that a member of the film crew brought it to the attention of Dreyer that the camera had a light leak and showed him the dailies, but Dreyer loved the effect and didn't fix the leak.

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