Dario Argento’s take on Bram Stoker’s classic novel. The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula’s crumbling, remote castle situated in the Carpathian Mountains on the border of Transylvania. The purpose of his mission is to catalogue the big library of Dracula. At first enticed by Dracula’s gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle. He also begins to see disquieting facets of Dracula’s nocturnal life. One night while searching for a way out of the castle, and against Dracula’s strict admonition not to venture outside his room at night, Harker falls under the spell of three wanton female vampires, the Brides of Dracula. Thomas Kretschmann plays the lead opposite Asia Argento, Marta Gastini and Rutger Hauer as Van Helsing.
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940 in Rome, Italy. He is the first born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for film making from his close knit family and from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other family members, including an aunt who told him frightening bedtime stories. Argento based most of his thriller movies on childhood trauma, yet his own, according to him, was a normal one. Along with tales spun by his aunt, Argento was impressed by stories from The Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Andersen, and Edgar Allan Poe. Argento started his career writing for various film journal magazines while still in his teens attending a Catholic high school. After graduation, instead of going to college, Argento took a job as a columnist for a roman evening newspaper, Paese Sera. Inspired by the movies, Argento later found work as a screenwriter and wrote several screenplays for a number of… read more
Yeah, it sucks. To draw a loose yearly parallel: like Bertolucci’s Io e te, Argento’s Dracula confirms the trend of a former Italian master now producing works of marginal, if not nondescript artistic value. Bertolucci, at least, still showed aptitude in his framing, pacing and even basic storytelling, tenets otherwise left in dire want in Argento’s latest. Sifting through his body of work has uncovered both his peak and now his nadir; at least it can be said that the expanse has been safely covered.
New films from past Palme d’Or winners Cristian Mungiu and Michael Haneke are among the latest to screen at Cannes.