Thursday, 2 February 2012

Steven Severin – Vampyr

Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh
Thursday January 12th 2012
3 stars
The man with the flowing white hair walks towards a small table and 
chair to one side of the Cameo's big screen. Sporting a long black 
winter coat and carrying a glass of red wine, the man looks as if he's 
stepped in from another, altogether darker age of shadows and light. 
Especially when juxtaposed against the shiny silver Macbook perched on 
the table which he sits himself down before. Such a clash of time-zones 
may be accidental, but it's the perfect introduction to former Siouxsie 
and the Banshees bass player Steven Severin's contemporary live score 
for Vampyr, Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1932 study in parasitic possession, 
in which young fogey Allan Grey blank-walks his way into saving the 
lives of a pair of once-bitten sisters.

Because Severin's use of brooding synth shards that ooze in and out 
provides a delicious counterpoint to Dreyer's consciously over-egged 
visual signifiers, which bridge Victorian melodrama and high-end 
expressionism. Ushered in by bells, a recurring theme for Allan, and 
even some dance-band jauntiness, Severin's latest score in his Music 
For Silents series following treatments of works by Germaine Dulac, 
Robert Wiene and Jean Cocteau lends even more menace than Wolfgang 
Zeller's original in an intensely brooding and at times 
sepulchral-sounding affair, that's wholly serious in intent and 
execution.

The List, February 2012

ends

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