This is only my second film I've seen from Maddin, and both ended up gracing my list of favorite films of all time. What witchery is this? Honestly, I was on the verge of tears within the first 10 minutes. As a book adaptation purist, I can handle something that is completely on a different plane of existence. An expressionistic fever dream, an avalanche of light and shadow, unique but surprisingly faithful.
3-3.5. Initially overly affected and occasionally visually choppy, this version of Dracula retains the meat of the original story, while coming as close to a staged ballet as possible, without losing dialogue, or letting dialogue kill momentum. Staging it as a silent film to get around that potential issue was very clever, lending an appropriately old-school aesthetic to the Count.
Beautiful hybrid of ballet, bram stoker, beautiful cinematography and the usual bag of tricks of director Guy Maddin. No matter how familiar one is with the source material one has to admirer the sheer artistry of all involved in this novel take. Kudos to the talented dancing cast (royal winnipeg ballet) and dp Suderman. Maddin's slient cinema influenced influctuations well suited to the genre. Excellent.
It follows Stoker's book more closely than Coppola's film does and, like his, adds various other layers, by which the author would likely have been surprised. Zhang Wei-Qiang is as elegantly seductive as Dracula as one expects, but the tone of the film, and its gruesome resolution, emphasizes the xenophobia and sexual hysteria of the book. It is no celebration of doomed love: instead a genuine warning to the viewer.
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary is a sumptuous caccophony of talent. The filiming angles are brilliant, the dancers are unequalled, and the scenery and costumes are divine. This trifecta makes for a once in a lifetime opportunity in viewing this film, for every time you watch it, something different takes the lead. I highly recommend this film for anyone who appreciates art.