Shadow of the Vampire Transformation from Dracula Essay

850 WordsAug 30, 20144 Pages
Shadow of the Vampire Essay Shadow of the Vampire is a post-modern appropriation of the past texts Dracula by Bram Stoker and the silent film Nosferatu. Through omission, subversion and transformation a new text is created for a new context. This is done through both the use of gothic elements and post-modernist techniques. These aspects shape and modify the characterisation, the plot and the setting. The films story line is based around the creation of the silent film Nosferatu, and the director Murnau’s lust for modern-day immortality with an underlying conceit of the traditional vampire who is embodied by Max Schreck. The audience when watching the film is led to believe that it is a behind the scenes docu-drama of the filming of Nosferatu. The film is distinctively post-modern in structure as the text itself is a film within a film. It is also fragmented in the sense that it switches from archival scenes in Nosferatu to reconstructed scenes. Another postmodern technique used is the elaborate use of playfulness and reality which twists our perception of truth, forcing the audience to question what they’re watching. As an audience, we’re lead to believe within the original filming of Nosferatu, the character Count Orlock was genuinely a traditional vampire. This increases the horror as the narrative plays out as we discover the twisted expectations of Murnau, the director of Nosferatu. Shadow of the Vampire uses intertextuality by using direct scenes from Nosferatu as well as directly referring to Dracula in the questioning the vampire scene. By using these features of the times to create a new substantial text aspects from others. The setting of Shadow is very similar to Nosferatu, but uses strong gothic imagery from Dracula. The director attempts to combine two genres: the gothic and the docu-drama. By doing this, it takes elements of both Dracula and

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