"Bloody marvelous! This Dracula has style to burn."
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary has style to burn, with a second viewing being every bit as enthralling as the first.It's astonishing what a fertile mind like Guy Maddin's can, and did, do with a commission to film a Mark Godden/Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance piece for Canadian television!
The result is an amazing work, an avante-garde silent film with sensory images pouring in all around: Godden's stunningly choreographed ballet itself; the black-and-white photography with bursts of red, green, and gold; the VERY political intertitles; and the Mahler symphonies crashing in the background.
Still, I didn't find it overdone at all, as enrapt as I was in this gorgeous feast for the senses from beginning to end (a short 75 minutes, all in all).With his chiseled good looks and agile grace, Zhang Wei-Qiang makes a striking Dracula in this sexually charged, highly politicized, and decidedly un-PC version of the tale, in which The Count is vilified not only for being a "vampyr" but for representing "FOREIGNERS...FROM OTHER LANDS...FROM THE EAST..." who taint the "pure blood" of the young Englishwomen.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2003 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.