Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer. Germany 1932. 83 mins.
One of cinema’s landmarks, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s luminous, sensual Vampyr (1932) was presented with live accompaniment from Minima and renowned silent film pianist and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Horne.
Dialogue and foley sounds from the original soundtrack were also woven into the live performance, which featured an array of musical instruments.
Loosely based on the work of gothic writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu, this was the director’s follow-up to The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and his first foray into the world of sound. The film tells the twisted tale of a travelling investigator who finds himself in a French village where an evil doctor is helping a vampire to prey on a pair of sisters. Our investigator gets caught up in this strange, occult world and does all he can to save the sisters, but the boundary between fact and fantasy becomes increasingly blurred. Dreyer leads the viewer, as though guided in a trance, through a kind of waking-dream.