Inspired by fairy-tales such as Alice in Wonderland and Little Red-Riding Hood, "Valerie and her Week of Wonders" is a surreal tale in which love, fear, sex and religion merge into one fantastic world.
A bag full of symbolic folklore about werewolves, or, rather, their sexual connotation. Granny tells her granddaughter Rosaleen strange, disturbing tales about innocent maidens falling in ... See full summary »
This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife... See full summary »
An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.
Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
A village in Nineteenth Century Europe is at first relieved when a circus breaks through the quarantine to take the local's minds off the plague. But their troubles are only beginning as ... See full summary »
Young traveller Allan Grey arrives in a remote castle and starts seeing weird, inexplicable sights (a man whose shadow has a life of its own, a mysterious scythe-bearing figure tolling a bell, a terrifying dream of his own burial). Things come to a head when one of the daughters of the lord of the castle succumbs to anaemia - or is it something more sinister? Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I can't improve on the fine reviews of the movie itself, but there are two major factors connected with the making of the film that may have been overlooked.
If by "poor quality," the reference is to the washed out, somewhat spotty look of the print, please be aware that this was deliberate. Cinematographer Matté had accidently opened a can of exposed film, and when Dreyer saw the result, he was delighted. It was just the effect he had been looking for.
"Vampyr" was originally shot as a silent. It was only later half-dubbed with voice-overs. Again, however, like the fortuitous "damage" to the print, the sparse and somewhat vague, even incoherent, dialogue contributes to the sense of dislocation which, I believe, is one of the great virtues of this genre masterpiece.
Like many, the first time I saw "Vampyr" I was put off by its obscurity and, yes, the "mutilated" video and audio. But as I saw more Dreyer and learned to stop trying to deconstruct the thing, I really began to like it. Now, I love it. If your first viewing of "Vampyr" leaves you the way it left me the first time, don't give up on it. It's on video, so buy a copy and pick your moments to watch it. You'll be rewarded.
An aside: Julian West, who played the lead, was also backer of the film and is credited, along with Dreyer, as producer. He is said to have been as spacey in real life as he was in character.
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