BFI Southbank, NFT1, 5.45pm
Tonight's movies are being screened as part of the BFI Southbank's Gothic season. This double-bill can also be seen on 33rd, 27th and 31st October. Details here.
Chicago Reader reviews of:
Universal's classic from 1931, directed by Tod Browning. The opening scenes, set in Dracula's castle, are magnificent—grave, stately, and severe. But the film becomes unbearably static once the action moves to England, and much of the morbid sexual tension is dissipated. Browning remains one of the most intriguing directorial enigmas of the 20s and 30s: he could be flat, dull, and clumsy, but once he connected with the underlying perversities of his screenplays, his films lit up with a diabolical grace. Dracula is disappointing next to Freaks and The Devil-Doll, but it still offers the highly satisfying spectacle of Bela Lugosi packing six volumes of innuendo into the line “I never drink . . . wine.”
Karl Freund, former cameraman for Lang and Murnau in Germany, directed and photographed this creditable 1932 entry in the Universal horror cycle. The drama may be clumsy, but Freund's lighting is a wonder. The charmingly egregious Boris Karloff stars, with support from Zita Johann, a first-rate actress who never really made it in the movies, thanks mainly to roles like this one.
Above (and here) is the trailer for Dracula.