The Original Movie Vampire: Nosferatu

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

As we think about scary movies for Halloween, I wonder what the vampires in “Twilight” or “True Blood” would think of one of the earliest screen depictions of a vampire, “Nosferatu.”  If the story seems familiar, it is because they wanted to film “Dracula” without paying for the rights to the original story.  A great mystery grew up around the actor who played the title role, Max Schreck, inspiring the Willem Dafoe film, Shadow of the Vampire.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcyzubFvBsA
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Based on a book Classic Fantasy Horror
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Interview: Vampires from ‘New Moon’

Posted on November 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Edi Gathegi and Jamie Campbell Bower play bad guy vampires in “New Moon,” the second in the “Twilight” series based on the best-selling books by Stephanie Meyer. I had a chance to talk with them about making the movie. They were enormous fun, exceptionally friendly and happy to talk about making the movie.Laurent Meadow Scene.jpg
NM: To begin with, this film has a different director, Chris Weitz of “American Pie,” “About a Boy,” and “The Golden Compass.” How will we see his influence on the story?
EG: Every director has his own unique style. Even in big franchise film series they’ll often switch off. Chris knows how to direct big stories and he has worked with CGI and special effects. In terms of color scheme and tones, “Twilight” was very blue and “New Moon” is very brown, with the introduction of the wolves. It does look gorgeous!
NM: How do you develop your walk and other movements for these supremely graceful creatures, the Volturi?
new_moon_volturi_2.jpgEG: Stephanie Meyer said the Volturi glide. So it’s not a clumpy foot stomp. It has to be liquid looking
JCB: My character is very still. For the one small bit of walking I did from my perch to my next perch, I was like a snake almost.
EG: We went to a moving like a cat workshop with exercises and cat movement. The idea is more like a tiger, lion, or panther. This is a new mythology of vampires, no fangs, no crosses. The Volturi have no blood in their bodies. They never have to move. There is a lot of stillness. We are not trying to pass ourselves off as human like the Cullens are.

NM: Tell me about the look of your characters. What do you wear?

JCB: The look of the Volturi is more stylish in its aesthetic. We are very well dressed even though we don’t get out much. We take what we can from our victims, so it is not always coordinated.
EG: It was a collective ensemble, the group look. Laurent was more rock star-y. He’s 300 years old, well traveled, picked from his favorite fashions of the day. He is fearless, doesn’t have to impress anyone. If it pleased him, he would wear a bright purple Russian car salesman suit.
NM: What’s the most fun about playing Volturi?
JCB: Getting to be incredibly evil and stare. We make use of the contacts, even though they are Irritating and decreased my vision.
EG: That’s the funny part! We are supposed to be the most gorgeous, perfect vision creatures in the planet, and with the contacts in, none of us can see!
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Actors Behind the Scenes Interview

Why all the Vampires?

Posted on August 29, 2008 at 8:00 am

Vampires are really big this year. Breaking Dawn, the fourth volume in Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight series was the most eagerly anticipated book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And one of the most popular events at Comic-Con was the panel for the upcoming movie with Kristen Stewart as Bella, the human girl who is in love with a vampire.

Also popular at Comic-Con was the appearance by Anna Paquin of the new HBO series True Blood, created by Alan Ball of “Six Feet Under” and “American Beauty.” In this series, the invention of a synthetic blood product has made it possible for vampires to “come out of the coffin” and join human society.

There are many reasons for the enduring appeal of the vampire myths, which date back thousands of years and recur in different forms in the folklore of many different cultures. The most popular modern conception is based in the Eastern European stories that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That has inspired classic movies from spooky classics (Dracula) to silly comedies (Dracula – Dead and Loving It, Once Bitten, and the unforgettably titled The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck). Vampires have been played by everyone from Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to Jim Carrey, Wesley Snipes, Catherine Deneuve, the Coreys (Haim and Feldman), Humphrey Bogart, and in an hilarious SNL skit, James Woods. And they have been fought by everyone from Hugh Jackman to Buffy. in Shadow of the Vampire, Willem Dafoe plays a vampire playing a vampire, based on the mystery behind the filming of “Nosferatu,” which basically stole its entire story from Dracula but changed the name so they would not have to pay royalties.

One aspect of the vampire myth that is especially alluring is the idea of being un-killable. The life they lead may be perverse and tortured, but it is eternal. Ann Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire and its sequels, has said that it was the death of her child that inspired her to write a series of books about creatures who do not die. Her books have sold over 100 million copies. Certainly, the mixture of death and life that a vampire represents is a part of what draws us to the stories, helping us to explore our fears and desires. In the case of the Twilight series, the vampire adds another dimension. These days, writers of romances complain, it is harder and harder to find reasons for the couple in the story not to get together so quickly there is no time for — a story. The traditional obstacles keeping couples apart, especially cultural norms against having sex with someone you don’t know very well, seem quaint and out of date. But if the guy you like is a vampire and you are not, that’s a darn good reason not to get close any way other than emotionally and psychically. These books explore the deep romanticism of that kind of relationship.

The Canadian series Blood Ties is now showing on Lifetime. It is the story of an investigator specializing in the supernatural and it features “the sexy 450-year-old vampire, Henry” as her adviser and possible love interest. And “Moonlight,” the story of a private investigator turned into a vampire on his wedding night and now interested in a human woman, has been canceled by CBS but may return on another station.

More classic vampires:

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