Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Cambridge Film Festival log (part III)

Just caught Dracula - pages from a virgin's diary; a much abridged retelling, choreographed for ballet, then shot as a silent film - captions, grain, vignetting, (tinted) monochrome [except the blood - and money - over saturated].

Act 1 - Whitby - followed the book quite well, and moved the plot on like a Busby Berkeley musical on speed. Act 2 - Transylvania - went into long digressive balletic set-pieces, inventing pretty much out of whole cloth (like the coffers full of emerald currency notes - that I took to be velvet lining at first - and gold coins), and making the eroticism that should be a subtext of vampiric haemosexuality into in-yer-face fumblings between Mina and Jonathan, and forgetting the silent film captions that were part of the retro charm of Act 1. First part 4-stars, second 2 at most.

I'm reminded of the quote about the dog walking on its hind legs - the amazing thing is that it is done at all.

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