by Tod Browning
Live soundtrack by Massimo Zamboni, Cristiano Roversi and Simone Beneventi
An auteur soundtrack by guitarist, singer-songwriter and writer Massimo Zamboni (ex CCCP and CSI, artistically born in Berlin early ’80) in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Cristiano Roversi (Moongarden, Submarine Silence) and percussionist and sound researcher Simone Beneventi, in which the three musicians evoke the uncanny in music with rhythmic geometries and analogue and digital sounds to accompany a milestone of 1930s horror films, one of the most famous “Dracula” in the history of cinema: the historic film by Tod Browning (the famous director of ‘Freaks’) made legendary by the iconic performance of the protagonist Bela Lugosi.
Horror is not a game of fantasy, nor mise en abyme of unfathomable and dangerous recesses of everyone, it is always more a chronicle of being in the world. Dark side yes, but inevitable, ordinary monster. When Stoker’s novel came out (1897), one might have thought of an irrational and horrific twist in the face of a culture devoted to technological, industrial, political progress. Then the vampire became the icon and narrative of the exploitative capitalist. But more than a century later, the existential, social games are all exposed. A being who does not know how to die and does not know how to live, who feeds on the blood of others but -who knows- is in search of love, consumed -never to the point of annihilation- by a sort of nostalgia. Melancholy. The vampire is us.
And the film that best tells this aspect is Tod Browning’s Dracula of 1931, with a Bela Lugosi who barely speaks English: a few sphinxes and words, as a foreigner. Dracula is a foreigner. Dracula is ourselves as foreigners. And it is a film without a soundtrack. Which is an invitation to re-read it by giving it the rhythm, the mood, of the time.