Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 27: Friday Jan 27

Vampyr (Dreyer, 1932): Hackney Picturehouse, 9.15pm
The film plus Steven Severin score will also be screened at the Ritzy in Brixton on Saturday at 9.15pm.


Here's the introduction to what promises to be an excellent evening: Following on from his Blood of a Poet UK tour in the winter of 2010, Steven Severin returns with his new score for Vamoyr, the third in his ongoing film accompaniment series - Music for Silents.

Live in person, Siouxsie and the Banshees founder Severin presents a mesmerising synthesis of sound and image, heightening appreciation of the surreal and enigmatic nature of Carl Theodor Dreyer's film.

The unsettling tale of fear and obsession finds its aural counterpart in Severin's suitably textured score, a synthesised, highly atmospheric soundscape drawing the viewer rhythmically into the oneiric imagery on screen.

Chicago Reader review:

'The greatness of Carl Dreyer's first sound film (1932, 83 min.) derives partly from its handling of the vampire theme in terms of sexuality and eroticism and partly from its highly distinctive, dreamy look, but it also has something to do with Dreyer's radical recasting of narrative form. Synopsizing the film not only betrays but misrepresents it: while never less than mesmerizing, it confounds conventions for establishing point of view and continuity, inventing a narrative language all its own. Some of the moods and images conveyed by this language are truly uncanny: the long voyage of a coffin, from the apparent viewpoint of the corpse inside; a dance of ghostly shadows inside a barn; a female vampire's expression of carnal desire for her fragile sister; an evil doctor's mysterious death by suffocation in a flour mill; a protracted dream sequence that manages to dovetail eerily into the narrative proper. The remarkable soundtrack, created entirely in a studio (in contrast to the images, which were all filmed on location), is an essential part of the film's voluptuous and haunting otherworldliness. (Vampyr was originally released by Dreyer in four separate versions—French, English, German, and Danish; most circulating prints now contain portions of two or three of these versions, although the dialogue is pretty sparse.) If you've never seen a Carl Dreyer film and wonder why many critics, myself included, regard him as possibly the greatest of all filmmakers, this chilling horror fantasy is the perfect place to begin to understand.' Jonathan Rosenbaum 

Here is an extract. 

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