A ballet rendition of Bram Stoker's gothic novel DRACULA, presented in a style reminiscent of the silent expressionistic cinema of the early 20th Century. This work employs the subtle and ... See full summary »
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A father and son ride the rails in their powerful locomotive. Witnessing a crash between two other engines, they rescue the lone survivor, Berenice, and make her a part of their family. All... See full summary »
The aspirant nun Céline vel Hadewijch is invited to leave the convent where she studies and she returns to the house of her mother in Paris. Céline meets her outcast Muslim teenage friend ... See full summary »
Germany, right after the re-unification. The people are out of control, blind hatred towards immigrants is common sense. In this time, a social-worker, with the mission to bring a Polish ... See full summary »
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The patriarch of a troubled clan dies, but the resentment and yearning of the eldest son conspire to bring the errant father back for periodic visits in an only partially living state. ... See full summary »
Margaret Anne MacLeod,
A ballet rendition of Bram Stoker's gothic novel DRACULA, presented in a style reminiscent of the silent expressionistic cinema of the early 20th Century. This work employs the subtle and sometimes bold use of color to emphasize its themes, but mainly is presented in black-and-white, or tinted in monochrome. No spoken dialogue can be heard, and the story of a sinister but intriguing immigrant who preys upon young English women unfolds through dance, pantomime and subtitles. Written by
Despite the extreme, extreme familiarity of the source material and the stuffy associations of the ballet form, Guy Maddin's 'Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary' emerges not only as one of the best 'Dracula' movies ever, but also as one of the best films about the Victorian Era (ranking with 'The Elephant Man' and 'Topsy-Turvy'). Maddin achieves the first feat with his insight into Stoker's novel (it's exciting to see somebody touch on the misogyny and xenophobia for once), and the second through a fascinating and completely appropriate aesthetic synthesis. Combining a 19th-century novel with a 19th-century pop art form, and setting it to 19th-century music (Mahler's from the wrong country, but so what), is a good beginning, but what makes it work, of course, is shooting it all in a mock-19th-century style. OK, so the silent horror films we think of date from a little later; still, Maddin does what he can to give the film a primitive, experimental, moving-daguerreotype effect, and the result feels like an actual window to the past, even if it's all just an artificial aesthetic construct. If this all sounds a bit self-conscious and over-the-top, it sort of is, but viewers will almost certainly be surprised at how unpretentious the effect actually is. The more explicitly balletic moments occasionally slow things down a bit for non-fans, but Maddin wisely keeps the running time at 75 minutes, and this helps the film retain a surprising accessibility. Not for all tastes, of course, but worth the effort for just about anyone. 8.5 out of 10.
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