Nosferatu – Viewing and Discussion Questions

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Ms. Rakiec

Film and Genre 5/7/9

Spring 2013
Nosferatu – Viewing and Discussion Questions
*1. What conventions of the horror genre do you see in Nosferatu? 
*2.  How does Count Orlok differ from other vampires you have seen in movies?  Why are these differences significant?  How do they inform our discussion of monsters as symbols of psychological horror?
3.  How is Orlok represented visually in the movie?  What other images are used to show his presence?  What do these images suggest allegorically?
5.  Women often occupy important, if powerless, roles in horror movies. Please respond to this observation in light of Ellen’s portrayal in Nosferatu.
6.  Describe the relationship between Hutter, Ellen, and Nosferatu.  How does the intrusion of Orlok into their relationship function thematically?  What do you make of Ellen's behavior? What parallels are drawn between Hutter and Nosferatu regarding Ellen? Why is it significant that Ellen ultimately destroys Nosferatu and not Hutter?
7. Taking a page from The Birth of a Nation and Traffic in Souls, Murnau uses cross-cutting repeatedly in this film.  How does Nosferatu’s use of this technique differ from that of the other two films? 
*8.  Stoker's Dracula, the inspiration for Nosferatu, is often seen as a tale about xenophobia, that is, the fear of the foreign.  What does Nosferatu do to maintain or subvert this theme in its source material?
9.The film devotes a fairly significant amount of time to Nosferatu’s passage on board ship. Why? What is significant about the sea and its associations, and how is that significance conveyed by the film?
*10.The figure of Nosferatu is continually associated with the plague. What do you make of this association? What is symbolically important about plagues, and how is that symbolism played out here?
*11.Nosferatu has a narrator, whose story is often represented for us as discrete pages from a memoir. What do you make of this element of the film? What kind of information or descriptions do these pages provide us? What do you think Judith Mayne means when she writes that “The problem of narration in Nosferatu is the disjuncture between narrator and screen”?
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