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Nosferatu: Symphony of Horror


I’ve recently had the weirdly, wonderful experience of seeing the silent horror film Nosferatu in a live theatre. Three musos provided the atmosphere with background music. The best part was when the guy played on the theremin!

For those of you who don’t know what that is: a theremin is an electronic music instrument by Russian inventor Leon Theremin . It looks a little bit like an aerial. When it is played you do not touch the aerial but wave your hands around it; you’re essentially playing different notes on sound waves.

I have to say: compared to modern horror films Nosferatu is so much better and ahead of its time. I enjoyed the cinematography and the fact that it’s in black and white works in it’s favour. Even though it might seem quite silly to the modern viewer, some scenes still has that creepy element. Behold the eyes and nails. My favourite scenes is when Count Orlok comes up the stairs and reaches out.

I loved the nature scenes: with the flesh-eating flytraps, spider and rats. The film also used stop motion photography. 

The plot of the story is based on Dracula. There was quite a scandal when it first came out. Bram Stoker’s wife sued the studio for plagiarism and have all the copies destroyed. Luckily, some copies survived.

In Nosferatu the vampire is called Count Orlok. ‘Nosferatu’ is the name given to a vampire in the movie.

There are some humerous moments in the film. *Spoilers: When Hutter wakes up he finds two bitemarks on his neck. Later, in a letter to his wife, he refers to the bitemarks as a cause of mosquitoes. Hutter’s employer is secretly in cahoots with Count Orlok and is called Knock. As in Knock, knock who’s there? Also, they used a hyena to portray the werewolf!




How do you translate music into words?

I’ve decided to work this whole week on writing. Mostly I hope to find something that I can use for an Afrikaans short story competition.  This is some of what I’ve written today:

How do you translate music into words?

I will try:

Mysterious. Whimsical. Murderers. Killing my heart with notes. Notes stamped into my mind. My fingers following the notes on the imaginary piano. Determined to be heard. Determined not to be forgotten.

Coaxing you to feel despair, happiness, heart break, anger and nonchalance all at the same time. To be in love for the first time… that is how music speaks to me.

If only we could share what we’re thinking or feeling when listening to music…


To be forever trapped in a door-less tower. Playing with instinct and love and fear. Like two lovers learning of each other’s existence for the very first time.

I’m listening to the soundtrack of The Piano. Jodie Foster plays the character that is deaf and can’t talk. She communicates through her music; by playing the piano.

The fear of never being discovered. Living without a purpose and just disappearing into the night (Do not go gentle into that goodnight – Dylan Thomas)

That is my biggest fear.

Do we risk it? Or forever remain silent?