“A biting, sharp and cheerful essay about an essential and gloomy figure of the fantastic.”
Nosferatu is, first of all, the other name of Dracula, the name that Murnau used for his movie, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, the masterpiece of German expressionist silent cinema that has not stopped haunting us since 1922. But Nosferatu is not just a trick for not paying royalties to the heirs of Bram Stoker, the author of the famous 1897 novel Dracula. He also is another character, whose elegiac refinement is quite different from the somewhat unsophisticated and grotesque bestiality of Stoker’s original.
Throughout their many and often improbable embodiments, these two sides of the vampire figure have conveyed numerous phobias, obsessive fears and existential angsts, giving new forms and meanings to our sex and death impulses. Yet their ways of doing so were totally different. If we really want to understand them, we should oppose instead of compare them: Nosferatu against Dracula?