Projections - Movie Reviews

Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary

Guy Maddin wonderfully evokes the silent era in tinted, monochromatic Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary.

He imparts a deep expressionistic art form on celluloid in working with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet off of the great Gothic 19th-century novel from Bram Stoker.

The actors, including Zhang Wei-qiang, Tara Birtwhistle, and David Moroni, are well cast through their passion into the stylish visual mind of Maddin.  Even when the narrative appears to lose its erotic hold over the viewer, Wei-qiang keeps his blood-sucker quench with a heart of darkness, while Birtwhistle exerts much flirtation into Lucy and Moroni endows Dr. Van Helsing with more prurience than one recalls from the legend of the Count.

This dialogue-less Dracula isn't just dance on the big screen to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler.  Sanguine bursts and sensuality feed into this black-and-white shoot that most likely delivers more intimacy than when it was played on Canadian Public Television.

And Maddin gets the most from his film makers to utilize scene movement, umbras and mist, as well as special effects to make this adaptation of a new Transylvania flourish with a moody, eccentric bite.

Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary

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