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Arnolfini - est 1961
Image of a scene from the film Phantom (1922).

Film screening with live piano accompaniment

Overshadowed by Murnau’s previous film, Nosferatu (1922), Phantom is a tale of obsession, painting a portrait of the corrupting influence of money, the conformity of societal norms and the redemptive power of family.

A two-tone dark image with yellow hues, of a person walking with a suitcase.

Image of a scene from the film Phantom (1922).


An aspiring poet, believing himself to be on the verge of a big break, experiences a chance encounter with a beautiful woman in the street and falls headlong into love and fantasy. All the while, his debts pile up and his promised literary celebrity fails to materialise.

Phantom is a forgotten gem of a film that stands as an early precursor to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).

Thought lost for many years, this screening of Phantom will include the recent restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung, Wiesbaden and a brand new score by Bath-based pianist Dominic Irving.

A black and white image from the film Phantom, of Alfred Abel seated on a bed, reading a book, while Hans Heinrich von Twardowski opposite.

Image of a scene from the film Phantom (1922).


Director: F W Murnau

Starring: Alfred Abel, Frieda Richard, Aud Egede-Nissen and Grete Berger

PG / Germany / 119 mins

Phantom is part of Bristol Ideas’ 2022 series Modernism 1922 which explores the worlds of film, literature, music, politics and more 100 years ago. It is run as a tribute to Kevin Jackson. His book, Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism and All That Jazz, tells the story of that remarkable year.

Biography: Dominic Irving studied composition and piano for four years at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, graduating in 2009 with a 1st-class BMus Honours degree, and in 2011, he completed an MA in Composition of Music for Film and Television (MA-FTV) at Bristol University. He began composing music at age 10 with his first solo piano piece and since then his music has been performed all over the UK. In 2014, he composed symphonic music for the sci-fi comedy-horror film Insectula! and in 2022, he composed a new piano score for the 1926 silent film The Flying Ace, which he performed live at Arnolfini in Bristol for South West Silents.