Djákninn á Myrká

At the beginning it was the fascination for the office. Looking South, with a view over the old town of Zurich up to distant Üetliberg. The walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves full of Nordic literature. In the middle there is a simple table. Spread out on it are manifestations of the busy workings of Prof. Dr. Jürg Glauser at the Department for Zombie Studies at Deutsches Seminar.

For the realisation of the Icelandic folk tale “The Deacon from Myrká” on the occasion of the in-house Christmas Apéro there was the possibility to feature this office as the backdrop. In context of the scenography three areas of the room where selected. The plethora of books and stacks served as an unifying element. The crafted scenes where assigned to specific sections of the scary story.

In the framework of scene 1 the camera looks towards the window. Mr. Glauser sits with his back towards the camera and watches on his computer extracts of a modern adaption of the 1862 initially published tale. Together with the decreasing ambient light of the sunset the glow of the screen accentuates his silhouette. For a short moment one might think of recognising the undead deacon sitting on the horse. These recordings embody the love, death and resurgence of the deacon.

The big wall of books stands for scene 2. Mr. Glauser finds himself in front of it and looks directly towards the camera. He reads the tale Djákninn á Myrká in Icelandic. For selected key plots in the chain of events I choose the close-up shot. Here the passion of the narrator should be brought to bear. I tried to reconstruct the atmosphere of a library with the cool spotlight from the top. A reflector from underneath threw warm light into the eyes and diffused the drop shadows.

The third and last scene 3 stood on the table. It presents moments from the physical world of the story. Real photos from the plot region in the north of Iceland are mixed with historical material and other, non-relevant research papers of Mr. Glauser. The observant viewer might recognise the deep blue of the floor below the table. That’s how I imagine the color of the death-bringing river in the tragic love story.

My deep gratitude at this point belongs to Prof. Dr. Jürg Glauser for his openness towards this project as well as lic. phil. Ragnheiður M. Hafstað and lic. phil. Sandra Schneeberger for their tireless assistance during the various phases of production.