As John Murdoch awakes one morning from uneasy dreams, he finds himself in a bathtub, transformed into a murderer of prostitutes. A doctor named Daniel P. Schreber calls to warn him about an ominous group known as the Strangers, and Murdoch flees into the night-time city in search of his memories; he remembers neither the crimes he has allegedly committed, nor his own past. With the help of his wife and the detective who is investigating him, Murdoch discovers a plot by extraterrestrial invaders – to try to uncover the secret of human individuality, the Strangers have turned the city into a “sleep laboratory”, where they manipulate people’s memories and change reality at will ... The world as a product of the will and a film citation. Dark City is a bravura turn that morphs the more fantastic part of early German film history into the reconstructed setting of a 1940s film noir. Motifs from Metropolis, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu merge as seamlessly with one another as human identities do in evoking the “terrors of a hitherto unknown kind” described by Daniel Paul Schreber (1842 – 1911), writing about his “nervous illness”.
USA / Australia 1998
100 min · Colour · 35 mm
Rufus SewellWilliam HurtKiefer SutherlandJennifer ConnellyRichard O‘Brien
Dark City Productions, LtdUSA
Copy: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg