DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 




Canada, 2002, 75 min

Shown in 2003

CREDITS

dir
Guy Maddin
prod
Vonnie Von Helmolt
scr
Guy Maddin
cam
Paul Suderman
editor
Deco Dawson
mus
Gustav Mahler
cast
Zhang Wei-Qiang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni, Cindy Marie Small, Johnny Wright

OTHER

source
Zeitgeist Films, 247 Centre St., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10013. FAX: 212-274-1644. EMAIL: emily@zeitgeistfilms.com.
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary

“Immigrants!! Others! From the East!” These hysterical intertitles herald the latest delirious spectacle from Guy Maddin, the auteur of Careful (SFIFF 1993) and The Heart of the World (SFIFF 2001). Maddin’s vision of the Dracula tale, performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, is highly idiosyncratic yet oddly faithful to Bram Stoker’s book. This Dracula brings the techniques and mannerisms of silent film back from the grave—combining the aesthetics of the turn of the last century with the attitudes of this one, Maddin has created a film that is both gleefully campy and earnestly beautiful. Jonathan Harker’s visit to Dracula’s lair is a tour de force of whirlwind editing; the dance sequences are often tongue-in-cheek (e.g. pirouetting maids garlanded in garlic), yet they are surprisingly effective at conveying narrative and character—the extravagantly stylized gestures of silent melodrama seem to come naturally to the dancers. Mostly black-and-white and silent, set to a swelling Mahler score, the film is punctuated with strategic flashes of color and sound effects: red for blood, green for money; the twitter of birds, the juicy thwack of a decapitation by trowel. In Maddin’s hands, new technology evokes the old, and the luminous distortions of digital video magically suggest the textures of the earliest cinema.

—Juliet Clark