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Additional screenings of "Faust", "Nosferatu" for Murnau retrospective


In response to the positive reception from the audience, extra screenings of the silent film classics "Faust" and "Nosferatu" have been scheduled as part of the retrospective "The Psychic Labyrinth of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau".

"Faust" will be shown again at 7.15pm on July 1, while "Nosferatu" will be shown again on July 6 at 7.15pm. Both screenings will take place at the Cinema of the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA).

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in association with the Goethe Institut Hong Kong, the retrospective has generated enthusiastic response from film buffs. Tickets for most screenings are sold out.

The retrospective, which concludes on July 6, contains all 12 of the German expressionist master's surviving titles, many of them were painstakingly restored.

With the vampire tale "Nosferatu" (1922), Murnau proved himself a pioneer in the use of lighting, composition, moving shadows, costumes and set design. In the spectacular "Faust" (1926), the images of medieval castles, huge mountains and Faust flying with Mephisto are stunning.

Castles and eerie shadows are trademarks of Murnau's work. "The Haunted Castle" (1921) shows the filmmaker's brave experimentation with light to express jealousy, foreboding dreams and murderous intent.

Other highlights include "Tartuffe" (1926), based on Moliere's famous satirical play. "The Grand Duke's Finances" (1924) finds Murnau deep in comic irony. The film, shot in a sunny Mediterranean paradise, has a bantering tone and witty, quirky characters.

His last film, "Tabu" (1931), was shot entirely in Tahiti. It is the story of a Polynesian girl who tries to avoid being sacrificed to the gods.

The full-blooded drama "City Girl" (1930) was the swan song of Murnau's American period at Fox Studios.

Until August 24, 200 archival items related to Murnau are on display at the Exhibition Hall of the HKFA. These include film set replicas, such as the Street of Shadows from "Phantom" and Faust's aerial journey. Admission is free.

There are also screenplay excerpts bearing Murnau's handwritten comments, sketches and drawings, posters, film stills, interviews with film critics on Murnau's techniques, scores and aesthetics. All the material is on loan from the Filmmuseum Berlin - Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek.

An exhibition catalogue with articles by film critics and archival photos is on sale at the HKFA for $40.

Murnau's work will be discussed in a seminar in Cantonese on July 5 at 4:30pm in the Cinema of the HKFA.

All films have English intertitles or subtitles. Tickets priced at $50 are available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. A 10% discount applies for purchases of six to 10 tickets; for purchases of 11 or more tickets, a 20% discount applies.

For information call 2734 2900 or 2739 2139 or browse the websites, or Reservations can be made by phone at 2734 9009 or on the Internet at

End/Wednesday, June 25, 2003

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