Nosferatu Analysis To be able to find out more about the typical codes and conventions I have carried out an analysis into a historical, classic, horror film which is Nosferatu. Analysis into this kind of a film allowed me to find out how the codes and conventions were established by one of the first ever released films and what kind of variations are nowadays used to enhance the audience experience and surprise them with the produced product. Nosferatu is a film produced in 1922 by a German director. Nosferatu was one of the first movies ever released therefore it has a massive impact on today’s filming industries. Nosferatu has established a lot of typical codes and conventions which are clearly visible in the productions of our century although a lot of variations have been introduced to the audience. Firstly, the intended audience of Nosferatu vary a lot comparing to the audience we would expect to view a movie today. Audience of Nosferatu had no previous experience with any films therefore their expectations were very low or there was none at all. As we can see while watching the film the narration is in a form of a written text, we can also notice that the text is shown for a quite long period of time, this is because not all of the 1920’s audience knew how to read fluently and it took them more time. For today’s audience this is completely unnecessary because all of us know how to read therefore it makes the watching of Nosferatu boring and sometimes very annoying, nevertheless it shows how text can enhance the image the audience watch therefore it would be beneficial if our trailer had also included text to inform the audience. Nosferatu was targeted at all sort of different audience. The representation of characters and audience is clearly visible throughout the entire film. The first noticeable factor is that Nosferatu is presented as unattractive and evil whereas todays cinema makes sure that the main character is attractive so that the audience are attracted to the film by the characters appearance too. Nosferatu through his representation has established a stereotypical thought of vampires which are ugly, unattractive and dangerous. Comparing it to Twilight where the vampire is very attractive and instead of trying to be dangerous he tries to attract people by its appearance we can argue that the intended audience change because those would mostly be teenage girls who are attracted by Robert Pattinson itself. Twilight does not also seem to be a horror movie with which all of the vampires are associated. This is where the variation shows and the typical stereotypes are questioned/changed. The representation of women and feminism is also very clearly visible in Nosferatu. Woman is portrayed as pure and innocent whereas when looking at films like Dark Shadows we can say that woman is as dangerous as man and they have equal power. This is an example of how the society ideologies have evolved and changed over period of time. Almost 100 years ago women lacked of power and ability to make decisions themselves for example they were not allowed to vote, therefore they were seen as much weaker and dependent on their man, unlike today when women have equal rights with men and try to take over all the highly powered work positions. In Nosferatu the typical stereotype is shown as the female character is always shown in a very bright light, wearing white clothes which signify pureness and innocence of female and being not reachable to the dark side which Nosferatu is. The genre conventions have been established through the use of mise en scene where costumes played such a huge role. Nosferatu wore black clothes which signify darkness and the evilness of the character. Because the representation of Nosferatu is very negative it did not require him wearing any costumes or having any make-up as he is not attractive himself. For comparison when we look at Barnabas from Dark Shadows we can clearly see that the costumes and make up has been very though through to make sure he looks a bit frightening but in the same time he is still attractive to be able to attract the female part of audience. In my opinion type casted character is like a hidden weapon which is used to attract audience however a variation of actors who are not known brings the freshness to a film and makes the audience curios because they do not know what to expect from certain person. The use of props is more visible in today’s productions. The directors make sure that the film looks very visually appealing therefore they try to enhance the audiences experience through the use of props whereas the way that
Nosferatu was constructed is that they have used camera angles to create shadows which were frightening for the intended audience. One of the scenes is a cliché and helped to establish very repetitive stereotype of horrors.
Scenes from Nosferatu which affected the future of horror First special effect ‘Nosferatu raises from the coffin’. This had a huge impact on the audience as they have for the first time seen something supernatural that would not happen in real life. It must have increased the tension and audiences’ interest towards the film. This scene is continuously repeatable in different films and one of those is Dark Shadows. The representation of Dracula is also clearly visible through the costume and different than human hands. This shows how daemons were portrayed in 1920’s and how this representation has nowadays.
This is the most recognisable scene from Nosferatu. It is also very significant for today’s productions. The use of lighting has enabled the director of Nosferatu to create an outstanding effect which was and still is frightening to the audience. Because the intended audience of Nosferatu were not aware of what they could see this had a major impact on their way of receiving the image- they were shocked and panicked, afraid of their own shadows.
Published on May 6, 2013