NEWS: Nosferatu @ Newcastle Castle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Nosferatu, the iconic horror film, is set to find a suitably grim home in Newcastle with a special screening at Newcastle Castle. An inevitably sold-out show, presented by Silents in the Castle, on Sunday 15th November has prompted an extra screening on Sunday 29th November. With the film followed by a secret short additional feature, this is a not-to-be-missed event.

The story of the film itself starts nearly a century ago, as a new film studio was founded in Germany by mysterious occultist Albin Grau, a man freshly-inspired to create films about the supernatural having only recently been informed in the midst of World War I that his own father was a member of the undead. A vampire, no less.

In search of suitably diabolical inspiration, Grau lucked upon a nearly-forgotten Victorian horror novel perfect for his dream project. Unable to obtain the rights to the book – Dracula by Bram Stoker – Grau steamed ahead and made the film anyway, changing names and locations in the hope of avoiding any legal entanglements.

It wasn’t to be. Quick to pounce after the film premiered, the Stoker estate launched and won a court case that bankrupted Grau’s studio and successfully ordered all prints burned.

But one copy had already escaped the court-ordered purge and made its way overseas. Decades of duplicated prints and florid word-of-mouth later, Nosferatu went on to become one of the most influential films in cinema history. Arousing public interest in the obscure novel that inspired it, Dracula itself was reappraised as a literary masterpiece and an entire genre took flight.

Visually striking, technically brilliant and dripping in dread, Roger Ebert famously said that Nosferatu “doesn’t scare us…it haunts us”, and anyone who has ever encountered the film will testify to just how insidiously it gets under the skin and stays there.

If you’ve never seen Nosferatu before, reserve a special place in your future nightmares. You’re going to need it.

Nosferatu screens at Newcastle Castle on Sunday 15th November and Sunday 29th November.

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