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"Life is a Twisted Circus" The Films of TOD BROWNING: DRACULA and DRÁCULA, an expanded cinema World Premiere of the US and Spanish versions, side by side, presented by MBC and Obsolete Media Miami

  • 27 Oct 2016
  • 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Miami Beach Cinematheque at Historic City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave, South Beach
  • 48

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THU, OCT 27, 8p:

LIFE IS A TWISTED CIRCUS

The films of Tod Browning

World Premiere Screening of the

expanded cinema dual presentation!

DRACULA & DRÁCULA

The US and Spanish versions side by side

presented by MBC and Obsolete Media Miami

Dracula is directed by TOD BROWNING/1931/1hr, 25mins.

With Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners

Drácula is directed by GEORGE MELFORD & ENRIQUE TOVAR ÁVALOS

1hr, 44mins. With Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton

  

  

In 1931 Universal Studios produced Dracula in English and Drácula in Spanish, in the same time period, on the same Charles D. Hall designed sets, with Dracula filmed during the day and Drácula at night. The Great Depression had forced the studio to adapt the simpler Hamilton Deane play for the screen rather than the epic Bram Stoker novel. Each version had its own director (Tod Browning and George Melford with the help of Enrique Tovar Ávalos) and cast (Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula and Carlos Villarias as Conde Drácula), its own cinematographer (the famous Karl Freund for the English version, and George Robinson for the Spanish version), but utilized the same adaptation of the play, albeit quite differently. The Spanish version, with a lost reel revived after a discovery in Cuba, is longer, and some critics prefer it for its more extended use of music, only slightly more fluid camerawork (this was Hollywood in the first years of sound), and its more varied use of the elaborate Transylvanian set. But most people agree that Lugosi in his legendary role is the definitive vampire.

Now is your chance to decide for yourself, because MBC and OMM are presenting the works side by side in one screening. OMM’s Barron Sherer has mixed the soundtracks to alternately follow the two narratives, so you won’t miss the few utterances of Lugosi, such as the infamous “Listen to them, children of the night, what music they make," but you will still catch Shubert’s Unfinished Symphony every time Conde Drácula rises from the grave (missing from Dracula and an example of the two different treatments of the same story).

“Certainly it is Lugosi's performance, and the cinematography of Karl Freund, that make Tod Browning's film such an influential Hollywood picture.”-Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun Times on Dracula

“The quick cash-in proves to be a much more mature and comprehensible work...even as it makes a couple of mistakes that Browning was able to avoid.”-Tim Brayton of Antagony & Ecstasy on Drácula

Obsolete Media Miami (O.M.M.) is an experimental art studio establishing a picture and moving image archive and resource for artists, designers, filmmakers, researchers and writers. A Dacra underwritten project, O.M.M. is located in the Madonna Building in Miami’s Design District and was launched in 2015 by artists Kevin Arrow and Barron Sherer with support from a Cannonball Miami and Andy Warhol Foundation grant. In December 2015, O.M.M. won a Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge grant.



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