Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan Italia 1960 RegiMario Bava Manus Mario Bava FotoMario Bava Med Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani 1t 27mDCP Engelsk tale, utekstet Aldersgrense 15 år
The next chapter, 'A Twin's double tunneling', opens with Mario Bava's Black Sunday, from 1960, also known as The Mask of Satan.
Mario Bava, who was previously working mainly as cinematographer (and uncredited co-director), was directing his first feature with Black Sunday. He was also cinematographer on his own film.
Although officially loosely based on the novella Viy, this early Italian gothic masterpiece barely retains elements from Nikolai Gogol's book. The script was rewritten by Bava extensively: "such was the genius of the screenwriters, myself included, that absolutely nothing remained of Gogol's tale". There are in fact more references to vampirism than to Gogol's witchcraft: neck bites and blood drinking, resurrection, and doors opening and closing on their own frequently (signaling tunneling/teleporting from chapter I of Vampiric Reflections). In particular, Saint-Georges plays a prominent part in the film (Saint-Georges' eve is brought up by one of the locals to Harker, as a warning, during his first trip to Transylvania, in Bram Stoker's Dracula). Another vampiric borrowing (or inspiration) could be Le Fanu's Carmilla. We can even note an eyewink to Dreyer's Vampyr.
The remnants of Viy in the film are: names of some of the characters (which are slightly modified), a bronze mask/iron face, a witch (although a vampiric one in Black Sunday), and some scenery.
The film, while predominantly gothic in aesthetics and settings (cinematography, lighting, architecture, etc.), blends in some Orthodox Christian elements. The 3-panel pocket icon of Saint-Georges is of an east Slavic orthodox tradition (with the writing on the side panels). The priest is donned with an Orthodox garment, and a typical Slavic orthodox-looking period beard and head of hair. Even the cross that is held against the the undead Javutich by Prince Vajda, bears the Orthodox mark of the two additional horizontal crossbeams (with the lowest one slanted downwards). No wonder: Bava has set the film in the town of Mirgorod, which is the title of Gogol's collection of stories, among which is Viy (in addition to Mirgorod being the town in which the last story in the cycle is set).
Chapter IV of Vampiric Projections deals with the female twins in vampirism (not unlike Carmilla's anagrammed female vampire), one or 2 of which channel(s) the vampire(s). One of the twins, in the case of Black Sunday, can teleport doubly via doors and gates: she teleports herself, but also does so by entrancing her oblivious antithetic double.
Artist Oscar Debs, who is curating the Vampiric Projections, will go further into the vampire manifestation in Black Sunday after the screening.