RNCM can be hit and miss as their events are a mix of experimental student work and professional content but the showing of 1922 classic Nosferatu accompanied by a live organist could not be missed.
It is hard to say what I’m reviewing here, the film itself or the environment it was surrounded by. The talented organist, unfortunately due to the structure of the instrument, is hidden behind the big screen which slightly dulls the nature of a live accompaniment. But upon reminding myself that he was actually there, the atmosphere was electric in the almost sold out main concert hall. Everyone giggled at the overacting, the dated charm of it, but also embraced the chilling image of Nosferatu. Altered from the original tale due to copyright issues, Nosferatu draws power from cursed earth, bringing the plague to those he bit. There is no denying that the fears that one had 100 years ago have shifted somewhat to what we fear now, but images of vampires and creatures of the night are still painted in modern horror today, penetrating our nightmares. In parts, the organ is piercing, effective and consuming, and we are all lost in this old post-war world. The instrument’s loud, church-like sound accentuated the eerie tones that shadowed over the whole movie and engulfed the entire audience.
For a first timer, Nosferatu was atmospheric and very unsettling, lifted by the drone of the organ hidden from sight. A real pleasure made even more pleasurable when surrounded by an audience seeking the same thrill.
See what’s on at the RNCM here