Dracula: Legend of folk hero
August 21th - 23th, 2020
Friday 21. 8
20:30 Vlad Țepeș (Doru Nastase, 1979)
Event realised with the support of Dacin Sara
Thanks for cooperation in correctting the subtitles to Elizabeta Fiedlerova
and Katerina Kucerova
Sobota 22. 8.
18:00 Lecture: Bohumír Dragoun: Ty mrtvý lež a nevstávej
aneb doklady vampirismu v Čechách a na Moravě
20:30 Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Murnau, 1922)
22:00 Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)
Neděle 23. 8.
20:30 Bram Stoker's Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)
History has inspired many film works of various genres, be it a movie, a comedy, a musical, a documentary. However one of the genres created by history, and still is a bottomless source of ideas, is horror. The film stories are usually based on legends about supernatural beings that have been told for generations in almost all communities. Behind these legends are phenomena that people could not rationally explain and therefore began to attribute them to mythical beings.
One of such phenomenonswere changes in the human body after death that brought fear and distress to people. At the funeral, they performed rituals to prevent the dead from returning home. Nevertheless some unexpected events after the funerals have not escaped attention and stories have been written describing these events, often with attempts to explain them. Stories in which the undead began to appear and called vampires. Stories that are not only to instruct or deter, but also fascinating by atrocities that have attracted listeners, readers and viewers since time immemorial.
For many centuries, vampires were just one of many beings told of stories and legends. However, during the 17th and 18th centuries, a large number of writings on the apparitions of the undead were published and vampirism became more popular. Of many works, let's name the study Traité sur les Apparitions des Esprits, et sur les Vampires Doma by Augustin Calmet in 1746. The breakthrough was Dracula by Bram Stoker, who became the model of several screenings in the next century. The speed at which the first film was made proves public interest in vampirism. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau made the successful Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, already in 1922. A film that has become one of the fundamental pillars of expressionist filmmaking, and which is the foundation of film horror.
The novel Dracula, and thus the film work, which is a novel based, draws inspriration from a real historical figure, Viovode Vlad III. Dracula. In Romania he is considered a hero and according to his actions he should be considered a hero worldwide. In fact, he fought against the Turks and prevented their penetration not only in the own territory, but also further into Europe. He has also consistently worked to improve the economic and political situation in the region. But the world knows more the legend of its cruelty. Cruelty, which is a picture of a difficult period of fighting with the Turks, and thanks to which the voivode received from the Turks the nickname Kazikli bey (Voivode Impaler) already during his life. Historical research shows that enemies who tried to liquidate him in the context of the political struggle had a major role in extending and exaggerating the legends of his cruelty.
Dracula became the archetype of heroes of vampire horror. And the popular genre popularizes Dracula more than his real acting, important in Pan-European scope. A legend that has little to do with a real personality of Vlad III. Dracula comes to the fore. If we focus on a phenomenon significantly affecting the film industry, which is horror, we must also address the personality of Vlado III. and his rehabilitation in the context of historical events and the time in which he lived. The theme of the "undead" opens up a number of opportunities to show the importance of propaganda in shaping global historical culture. It illustrates the mechanisms of demonization of historical personalities and whole themes and even regions, as well as the process of commodification (commercialization) of the past.