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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDouglas

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masterwork in other ways. In order to make the sense of menace more real, Murnau departed from period convention by shooting his film at original locations in the cleft landscape of the Carpathian Mountains and among the decaying warehouses in the Baltic port of Wismar. The aforesaid forest scene heightens nature to the realms of the mythic, evoking the notion that nature may at any moment overgrow the achievements of civilization. Nature is allocated similar prominence in Stan Douglas' film: he inserts a strange close-up of foliage leaves and wood and thus allocates it significance. After opting for a silent story, Stan Douglas installed a mute observer bearing some resemblance to the personnel of Murnau's silent film, which, thanks to the self-explanatory nature of the scenery, required very few intertitles. Nosferatu was interpreted as a document of its times, and understood as such by contemporary viewers. The plague the vampire brings to Wismar reminded the audiences of the death-bringing influenza epidemic of the winter of 1919-20. Tales of nocturnal blood-sucking beings had increased the sufferings of German soldiers in the Balkans during World War I, adding to their


anxiety and sense of being lost in an alien environment. The main character's emaciated face roused associations with the starving German population. Stan Douglas successfully creates a similar network of associations in his film. The entire film and the looped version can be read metaphorically. The black protagonist might represent the last generation to populate Herman Gardens and the inner-city districts of Detroit. The derelict house points to the impoverishment of the district, to the exodus of the black population. The furniture points to the various generations once resident in the district. The office, the Colonial furniture, the spinning wheel, the television set, and the portable 1960s transistor radio point to adults, women, men, teenagers and children. The items of furniture represent better and worse days, alluding to recreational activities, to domestic representation, and to working life. The clean clothes, the can placed on the floor to catch the drips of water (if water it is, and not the blood or oil equally suited to a horror film or the ruined auto city of Detroit) seem to label the building as a temporary abode, and might allude to the vast numbers of

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