Described by its maker as a 'poem of horror', Vampyr (1932) is one of the founding works of psychological horror cinema, adapted from a collection of gothic stories by Sheridan Le Fanu and directed by the revered Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. Despite the fact that there is no definitive print and many English versions are marred by poor quality subtitles, the film remains a vivid, extraordinary artwork in which the inner human state is made hauntingly visible.
In a reading as passionate as it is analytic, David Rudkin reveals how this film systematically binds the spectator - spatially and morally - into its mysterious world of the undead.
This second edition features a new foreword, discussion of the Martin Koerber and Cineteca di Bologna restoration of the film in 2008, and original cover artwork by Midge Naylor.
David Rudkin is a screenwriter. He has written numerous plays, including Afore Night Come (RSC dir. Clifford Williams); The Sons of Light (Newcastle Playhouse dir. Keith Hack; in further revision, RSC, dir. Ron Daniels); Ashes (London Open Space Theatre, dir. Pam Brighton) and Hansel and Gretel (RSC, dir. Ron Daniels). David Rudkin has also translated plays such as The Persians and Euripides, and he offers lectures on Adaptation for the Screen and Ibsen, amongst other topics.
Foreword.- 1. Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968).- 2. Locating Vampyr in Dreyer's Cinema and it its Sources.- 3. The 'Problem' of Vampyr.- 4. Vampyr: Towards a Reading.- 5. The Journey to Our Grave.- Notes.- Credits.