Tuesday, October 31, 2017

'Nosferatu' on Tuesday, Oct. 31 nearing sell-out status at Red River Theatres in Concord, N.H.

A highly stylized poster for 'Nosferatu,' which translates from Greek as "Carrier of Plague."

One more time!

And now for this year's final Halloween silent film screening: the vampire classic 'Nosferatu' (1922) on Halloween night itself (Tuesday, Oct. 31) at Red River Theatres in Concord, N.H.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m.; live music is by yours truly.

More info than you can shake a stake at is in the press release below.

For now, let me say that the Red River folks report strong advance ticket sales, so we're hoping for a full house.

That's terrific because we're running 'Nosferatu' in one of Red River's two larger theaters rather than the smaller screening room.

So, many thanks to the folks at Red River for continuing to include silent film with live music in their diverse offerings.

And while I'm at it, thanks to a local newspaper, The Telegraph of Nashua, N.H., for putting our show on the cover of a recent edition of "Encore," their weekly entertainment guide.

Here's the front page:

Yes, my mother was thrilled to open our hometown newspaper to see her son's picture featured prominently next to the word "CREEPY."

And here's the spread inside:

Wow! Never thought I'd be part of a centerfold, but that's show biz!

'Nosferatu' gets quite a bit of play this time of year, for obvious reasons. And let me confess I'm a bit jealous that Nosferatu himself has been making in-person appearances this year at screenings accompanist by my silent film colleagues in other parts of the country.

In at least one case, the creature summoned his supernatural powers to appear at two separate screenings at the same time. He was everywhere—kind of like Santa Claus on Christmas.

But not at any of my screenings. :)

So as this Halloween draws nigh, I'm starting to feel like a kid before Christmas—the kind who wonders if Santa might be passing me by for some reason.

Although because it's Nosferatu, in this case I have to wonder if I've been bad enough during the past year. Have I somehow not done enough evil?

Please, Mr. Nosferatu—don't forget us on Halloween night at Red River Theatres in Concord. As a musician, surely I've done enough bad things in the past year to warrant an appearance!

And if that's not enough, Concord is our state's capital, so there's a good chance some state legislators and even actual lawyers will be in the audience.

Surely they're your kind of people, no?

And even if he doesn't show in person, we'll have him on the big screen with live music on Halloween night. Details below!

* * *

Max Schreck as Count Orlok in 'Nosferatu.'

Contact Jeff Rapsis • (603) 236-9237 • jeffrapsis@gmail.com

Creepy classic thriller 'Nosferatu' coming to Red River Theatres on Tuesday, Oct. 31

Celebrate Halloween with pioneer silent horror movie on the big screen with live music—see it if you dare

CONCORD, N.H.—Get into the Halloween spirit with a classic silent horror film!

'Nosferatu' (1922), the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula,' will be screened with live music on Halloween night, Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Red River Theatres, 11 South Main St., Concord, N.H.

Admission is $12 per person. The film will by accompanied by live music performed by New Hampshire-based silent film musician Jeff Rapsis.

'Nosferatu' (1922), directed by German filmmaker F.W. Murnau, remains a landmark work of the cinematic horror genre. It was among the first movies to use visual design to convey unease and terror.

To modern viewers, the passage of time has made this unusual film seem even more strange and otherworldly.

It's an atmosphere that silent film accompanist Jeff Rapsis will enhance in improvising live music on the spot for the Red River screening.

"The original 'Nosferatu' is a film that seems to get creepier as more time goes by," said Rapsis, a resident of Bedford, N.H. "It's a great way to celebrate Halloween and the power of silent film to transport audiences to strange and unusual places."

In 'Nosferatu,' actor Max Schreck portrays the title character, a mysterious count from Transylvania who travels to the German city of Bremen to take up residence.

In the town, a rise in deaths from the plague is attributed to the count's arrival. Only when a young woman reads "The Book of Vampires" does it become clear how to rid the town of this frightening menace.

Director Murnau told the story with strange camera angles, weird lighting, and special effects that include sequences deliberately speeded up.

Although 'Nosferatu' is suitable for all family members, the overall program may be too intense for very young children to enjoy.

In 'Nosferatu,' director Murnau made use of shadows and other then-unusual visual techniques to create atmosphere and tell the story.

Modern critics say the original 'Nosferatu' still packs a powerful cinematic punch.

“Early film version of Dracula is brilliantly eerie, full of imaginative touches that none of the later films quite recaptured,” Leonard Maltin wrote recently.

Critic Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader called 'Nosferatu' "...a masterpiece of the German silent cinema and easily the most effective version of Dracula on record.”

Despite the status of 'Nosferatu' as a landmark of early cinema, another scary aspect of the film is that it was almost lost forever.

The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Stoker's novel, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain rights to the novel.

Thus "vampire" became "Nosferatu" and "Count Dracula" became "Count Orlok." After the film was released, Stoker's widow filed a copyright infringement lawsuit and won; all known prints and negatives were destroyed under the terms of settlement.

However, intact copies of the the film would surface later, allowing 'Nosferatu' to be restored and screened today as audiences originally saw it. The image of actor Max Schreck as the vampire has become so well known that it appeared in a recent 'Sponge Bob Squarepants' espisode.

‘Nosferatu’ will be shown on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Red River Theatres, 11 South Main St., Concord, N.H. Admission is $12 per person.

For more info, visit www.redrivertheatres.org. or call (603) 224-4600. For more about the music, visit www.jeffrapsis.com.

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