(James Whale, US 1931, 64 min., 16mm)
Year Without a Summer. This cavalier adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel ranks as one of the great films from the golden age of Universal horror. The film’s stark black-and-white cinematography also creates a disturbing atmosphere which would serve as a reference point for cinematic nightmares to come. With iconographic performances from Boris Karloff, Colin Clive in the title role, and Dwight Frye as his hunchbacked assistant, Frankenstein also represents Hollywood’s early fascination with expressionistic acting styles. Karloff's vivid performance as “the Monster” is greater than the sum of his parts.
Introduction by Lester D. Friedman, professor of Media and Society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and co-author of Monstrous Progeny: A History of the Frankenstein Narratives (Rutgers University Press), an extensive historical overview and detailed analysis of key texts in the Frankenstein legacy. Book signing will follow the screening.