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An Expression of Terror

Nosferatu 1922

I first saw Nosferatu (1922) in college. The library had hundreds of VHS films that were rare. I took advantage. If I had free time I would sign out a film or two and sit at the line of players with small TVs and headphones. The library didn’t believe in censorship so they had films that were not supposed to be seen available.

Every sci-fi, horror and film magazine had Nosferatu and Metropolis as must sees. I owned a copy of Metropolis, loved it, and craved viewing Nosferatu. The library had it. It was on!

Two movies have scared the shit out of me: The Shining and Nosferatu. I was petrified the first viewing, tense and anxious the next several. I was stunned at the power this film had. It took years of reading about it, analyzing it, to learn why.

Nosferatu, to me, is a kind of filmic touchstone. German expressionism influenced me quite a bit as an artist. German expressionistic film is what I want to be when I grow up. The unrealistic exaggeration of forms that make the sets, the shots and the costumes makes my heart sing. The overwhelming creativity of it all astounds and intrigues me.

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