What if Casanova and Dracula had met? Albert Serra has always been drawn to legendary figures. After Don Quixote (Honor de Cavallería) and the Magi (El Cant dels Ocells), Serra turns to darker heroes and invents a new chapter to Casanova’s fabled Memoirs. As always, the film takes the form of a journey: that of an aging Casanova, accompanied by a portly sidekick, approaching the end of his life. He encounters a few charming young women before crossing a river — a clear reference to Hutter’s fateful bridge crossing in Murnau’s Nosferatu. Allusions to the figure of the vampire pervade the film, not only Murnau’s rendering but also Herzog’s use of the archetype to depict the disastrous downfall of German culture. Casanova, inveterate libertine, stands here for the end of an era. His bold and learned declarations are gradually silenced, signalling nothing less than the death of the Enlightenment. From day to night, from discovery to darkness, the film’s sublime imagery is a platform for that which can no longer be expressed in words. A primal cry; a superb film.