Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002)
Chosen by me from a selection of free films online (and it was mentioned by Kim Newman in his excellent book Nightmare Movies)

As if a ballet version of Dracula wasn't distancing enough, Maddin films the whole thing as though a silent movie (mostly - there are a couple of disconcerting sound effects).
Hauntingly beautiful but off beat (Van Helsing is an odd pervert who keeps the torn off skirt of Mina Murray) it plays Dracula out as an invasion story by an immigrant impressing himself into English social and sexual society.
It pays much more attention to Lucy Westernra (starting the story with her and showing Jonathan Harker's travails are shown later in a super fast precis) who is brilliantly performed by Tara Birtwhistle. Highlighting a character's sexuality through dance may not be exactly a groundbreaking idea but Birtwhistle handles the change in personality brilliantly creating a genuine tragedy out of her death (sympathy is not only with her but also Dracula at the end who seems bullied in his own home by a bunch of toffs).

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