Dracula: Pages from
A Virgin's Diary
May 14, 2003
I've got a riddle for you. What do you get when you cross ballet with vampires? Why, this movie, of course. This film, written and directed by Guy Maddin, is the film version of the stage ballet, "Dracula", performed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
The story is the classic tale from Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". It finds a Transylvanian count traveling to England in serach of fresh blood. The film portrays the vampire not only as a source of evil, but also as a stranger from a faraway land. Dracula is played by an Asian actor (Zhang Wei-Qiang) to drive home the "outsider" aspect.
Maddin is known for his very unique visual style from his previous films. This one is no exception. The film is in black-and-white with only hints of color. Guess what color that is - blood red. Also, rather than trying to recast the roles from the stage production, Maddin stuck with basically the same cast. They bring life to their roles on the screen as they did on stage.
The film was originally shown on television in Canada back in February 2002, but Zeitgeist Films thought enough of the production to buy the theatrical rights. It sounds like that was a good decision. The film has already won awards in both film festivals *and* at the International Emmy Awards. This is the first of a few films we'll see with characters from Dracula. Coming up later in 2003, we have The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and in 2004, the highly anticipated Van Helsing. (Marty Doskins/BOP)