A Rocky Mount church has invited an internationally known organist to provide an improvised accompaniment to one of the classic films of the silent movie era.
“Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror” will be screened by the Church of the Good Shepherd at 5 p.m. Sept. 29, a release says.
Accompanying the 94-minute film will be organist Dorothy Papadakos, a member of the Grammy Award-winning Paul Winter Consort. Papadakos rose to fame as the first female organist for the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. She also has sold out silent film improvisations and specializes in accompanying those starring Charlie Chaplin, who was famous for his portrayal of The Tramp character, and Lon Chaney, who played the lead in classic silent film adaptations of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
“Nosferatu” was filmed in 1921 in Germany. Set in the Carpathian Mountains and in a fictitious German city, it tells the horrifying 19th-century story of Count Orlok, a vampire who comes to the German city from his native Transylvania and is defeated in the closing scenes by the protagonist couple, Thomas and Ellen Hutter.
“Nosferatu” was directed by F.W. Murnau and starred Max Schreck at Orlok and Gustav von Wangenheim and Greta Schröder as the Hutters.
The film was fortunate to survive, the release says. Its producer, Prana Film, declared bankruptcy after Bram Stoker’s estate successfully sued Prana for infringing the copyright of “Dracula.” The court ordered all existing prints of “Nosferatu” burned, but one copy survived because it already was in distribution.
The screening is free. Popcorn will be served during the movie, and a reception will follow in the parish hall. Child care will be provided.
The Church of the Good Shepherd is at 231 N. Church St.
For details, call organist and choirmaster Lawrence Goering at 442-1134.