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Nosferatu

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Nosferatu is a mordantly funny and moving fictionalized life of F. W. Murnau, the pioneering German director best known for the landmark vampire film Nosferatu. The section about the making of that classic first appeared in Shepard’s chameleonlike short-story collection Batting Against Castro and there Murnau seemed a cold, reserved aesthete. But here, Shepard expands on his Murnau character’s shy, nervous boyhood, his bonding with soul mate Hans in college, their tragic falling-out, and Hans’ death in World War I. Shepard captures the cut-and-paste excitement of early filmmaking, and he keeps Murnau’s heart, broken and sad, quietly beating in our imagination. A-

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