November 16, 2010

Being inhuman

Berlingske Tidende on 19 October 1935 reported on a young man from Fjerritslev who became mentally disturbed after watching Vampire, "A few years ago the young man, who is around 25 years old, went to the movies and saw a much-discussed film at the time, 'Vampire.' The eerie film made such a strong impression on him that he has not spoken a word since. He claims he is under a curse and if he opens his mouth he will be possessed by a vampire. In some respects, he is sensible enough. Only, when someone asks him to speak, he shakes his head and makes the sign of the cross." Perhaps, he should have followed the critic’s warning in Aarhus Amtstidende on 25 April 1933, "People with weak nerves are advised not to see 'Vampire.'"

Stills from Vampyr (1932) by Carl Theodor Dreyer -- "which Alfred Hitchcock said was the only film worth seeing twice". Text from the incredibly thorough Carl Th Dreyer site, produced by the Danish Film Institute -- a model of online archiving.