A Symphony of Horror
Sunday 31 October 2021
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For Halloween, we unearth the first great Dracula film with a live accompaniment from Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla.
Before plastic fangs, before Hammer Horror kitsch, even before Bela Lugosi, there was F.W. Murnau’s magnificently terrifying 1922 film Nosferatu.
Its angular sets were designed by a practising occultist who’d heard first-hand stories of vampires from Serbian peasants during World War I. All but one of the prints were destroyed on the orders of Bram Stoker’s widow. It was banned in Sweden until 1972… The fog of mystery and legend surrounding Nosferatu is dense and weird enough to rival the centuries-old vampire myth itself.
The many attempts to reconstruct or replace the lost score have added to the film’s rich afterlife. Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla is master of the dark art of improvised film accompaniment, having provided soundtracks for The Phantom of the Opera, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and many more classics from the silent era. Join us as he revives this deathless masterpiece.