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 »
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 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 »
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 »
A group of indolent bonvivants stage an accident in order to cadge money for alcohol. The scheme backfires when one of the conspirators is simply too lazy to fulfill his particular function... See full summary »
A jovial shirtless man attempts to rouse a contingent of lethargic dancers to life in NUDE CABOOSE. His highjinks really get the deadbeats bustin' out until something unusual catches his ... See full summary »
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
What an absolute thrill, from start to finish, just experiencing the `artistic conception' of this reverent homage to silent film, featuring Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, a stunning performance by Zhang Wei-Qiang as Dracula, and the brilliant production design of Deanne Rohde. Once again, Guy Maddin has created a unique, conceptualized universe all his own; there's nothing else in cinema quite like his eerie, dreamlike imagery. This film is immersed in the thundering power of Mahler's `Resurrection' 2nd Symphony, a work which itself features an ascension from all things human and earthly, and rises into the glorious heavens, a transcendent experience which, musically, grounds this film. From this theme, we add vampires, whose lust for blood promises life everlasting. The performance of Zhang Wei-Qiang dominates throughout, as he is easily the most fascinating stage personality, filled with a mesmerizing ability to seduce and ultimately possess his willing screen sirens, and while I can't speak for anyone else, I always root for him against his puritanesque nemesis, Dr Van Helsing, the leader of the repressed gang of vampire slayers. Ballet director Mark Godden choreographed the ballet adapted by Maddin for this film, so there is constant motion on screen. All this is done in image and in dance, with exaggerated gestures and with an extreme grace in movements, magnificently sensuous and macabre, shrouded in fog and black and white shadows, with only the tiniest color tints. Each frame, by itself, is a still masterpiece; the imagery is that overpowering. But when put in motion by such gifted hands as Maddin's, the film experience is indescribable, but unforgettable.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?