Opening night will include a new live score to one of cinema’s landmarks, Carl Theodore Dreyer’s luminous, mesmerising Vampyr.
This year we kick the festivities off with a new live score to one of cinema’s landmarks, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s luminous, mesmerising Vampyr. 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 the French village of Courtempierre, 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.
Although strictly speaking a sound film, the soundtrack to Vampyr was actually added in post-production, and so the film often feels like a silent. That, along with its hypnagogic tone, makes it the perfect choice for a rescore. Providing the accompaniment tonight are four-piece multi-instrumentalists Minima, working in tandem with the hugely talented film pianist Stephen Horne to produce one of the best live scores we’ve heard in years.
This is also one of the last chances to attend a performance at the Adrian Boult Hall, as sadly later this year the bulldozers turn their attention from Central Library to the ABH.
Doors open at 8.00pm. Film starts at 8.30pm.
Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer Germany, 1932, 75 mins Cert: PG