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Dancing Dracula!
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
kestrell and I saw a very strange film today. Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Quoting selectively from Wikipedia:
a 2002 horror film directed by Guy Maddin... documenting a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet adapting Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Maddin elected to shoot the dance film in a fashion uncommon for such films, through close-ups and using jump cuts. Maddin also stayed close to the source material of Stoker's novel, emphasizing the xenophobia in the reactions of the main characters to Dracula (played by Zhang Wei-Qiang in Maddin's film).
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Like most of Maddin's films, Dracula, Pages from a Virgin's Diary is shot in the silent film tradition, complete with title cards and mimicking special effects of the era, such as tinted screen color, shadow play, and vaseline smeared on the camera lens to create a blurry effect. The film is not entirely monochromatic, since computer-generated special effects add bright, acidic colours to tint golden coins, green bank notes, and red blood.

In terms of bare plot, it's a pretty close adaptation of the Stoker, though it changes up specific details quite a lot (Harker at Dracula's Castle is mostly omitted, shown only in brief flashback). But as a silent film adaptation of a ballet, it gets into some seriously weird tonal territory. Even beyond the basic form of the film, there are some odd creative choices, such as making Van Helsing quite explicitly a pervy voyeur.

The visual density was such that Teeny and I couldn't literally describe the visuals for Kes fast enough to keep up, so we gave more-or-less impressionistic descriptions of the action, which often took a bit of an MST3K turn. Plus the occasional "I swear I'm not making that up!"

I can't exactly call it *good*, but I will say that I've never seen anything else quite like it, so it gets at least some points for originality. I'd be interested to hear what rickthefightguy thought of it, since he has some experience with Dracula adaptations, and the film does contain some interesting dance-violence.
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