NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century A Modern Cultural Expression
NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century Review
Related Article: Art Exhibition Information
Nosferatu. Does this word not sound like the midnight call of the Bird of Death?” Ninety-five (95) years later and chills still run down the spine when the creature gets spoken of. Andrea Mastrovito has brought Nosferatu back to life but with unique views on today’s cold modern society and the challenges of immigrants who deal with a challenging personal quest for freedom.
Mastrovito chooses Nosferatu as inspiration for NYsferatu: Symphony of a Century because of its original metaphor of England in the late 19th century and how any land past Transylvania was xenophobia. In NYsferatu the setting changes from the mysterious Europe to the chaotic City of New York, a small symbol of the western world.
The production took three years and the help of 12 artists to complete and help from many workshops held in Brooklyn and Queens. At these workshops, Mastrovito worked hand in hand with immigrants from China, Russia, Middle Eastern and Spanish-speaking countries. He took the time to listen to the participants of their personal struggles to migrate to America and dealing with their personal vampire.
Their personal vampires included the daily New Yorker’s lifestyle of working and having to pay rent-being sucked and a pain in the neck to adjust and have ends meet with high rent, gentrification, and racial issues. As we know these issues affect not only new residents but also families who have lived here for generations. The participants also helped with writing title cards displayed on screen. This adds a new twist to the animated work of art.
Symbolism is hard to overlook in NYsferatu. Mastrovito did a spectacular job with a drawing technique called rotoscoping. The technique became popular in Ah-Ha’s 1986’s music video “Take On Me”. Other inspirations include Goya’s The Disasters of War and the works of Jonas Mekas and John Giorno. Both artists Mastrovito wanted to pay homage to.
The film has an accompaniment of an original musical score composed by Simone Giuliani at various parks and museums throughout New York City. Some of the musical inspiration comes from Queen and Metallica which set the perfect tone for the film.
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