Critical Writing Index

Six Degrees of Nosferatu

by Thomas Elsaesser

Sight and Sound, Feb. 2001, v. 11, no. 2, pp. 12-15

Author Thomas Elsaesser discusses the gestation of F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu in review of the film Shadow of the Vampire by E. Elias Merhige, a fictionalized account of the making of Nosferatu.

Elsaesser touches on the historical events occurring around the period that Nosferatu was made, including the recovery at the end of World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic and famine that hit Germany in the winter of 1919-20, killing more civilians than the war had. Elsaesser connects these, and other events to the film and Murnau using a 'small worlds' or 'six degrees of separation' theory.

ITEM 2001.105 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Nosferatu Ein Symphonie des GrauensF.W. Murnau

Tabu A Story of the South SeasF.W. Murnau

From Caligari to HitlerSigfried Kracauer

Shadow of the VampireE. Elias Merhige