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 »
It's time for hockey! There's no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons' own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her ... See full summary »
In the Alpine village of Tolzbad in the 1800s, the townsfolk talk quietly and restrain their movements lest they incur avalanches. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emotions - shown... See full summary »
Peter Glahn is released after years of incarceration as a political prisoner and is now returning to his homeland, the mythical Mandragora where the sun never sets. On board the ship home, ... See full summary »
An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.
While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »
A musical of sorts set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win the $25,000 prize.
Maria de Medeiros
Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »
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 »
A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that's been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the... See full summary »
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
"Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary" does the impossible - it makes ballet entertaining to me. I've never been remotely interested in ballet. While I admit it takes a lot of skill to perform, it always bores me. That being said, I'm shocked at how much I enjoyed "Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary". Considering the fact that I was moderately biased towards hating the film, thats a remarkable accomplishment. In fact, I'd say its one of the greatest adaptations of the much-filmed novel, right up there with both of the versions of "Nosferatu" by Murnau and Herzog. Its all testament to how talented and visionary director Guy Maddin is.
Maddin crafts this as a silent film. If you're unfamiliar with Guy Maddin, what he generally does is create surrealist fantasy films in the style of silent and early sound cinema. He typically does this with a droll and campy sense of humor. While his humor works in other films, he thankfully avoids it here - while this version of "Dracula" is never outright frightening, its beautifully dreamlike, and any gags would've ruined it completely.
Also, Maddin jettisons the whole "vampire as a metaphor for venereal disease" motif which has been overdone while taking on a much more relevant subtext of modern day xenophobia. Still, there is a heavy sense of eroticism throughout the film. "Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary" isn't my personal favorite Maddin film, but its possibly his finest achievement. I never saw myself recommending ballet, but this is definitely mandatory viewing. (9/10)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?