Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary review

If you think Dracula has been done to (un)death in film, get a load of Guy Maddin's cranky-but-brilliant resurrection of Bram Stoker's classic.

With music by Gustav Mahler and movement by Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, it's part avant dance, part silent movie. Maddin's direction combines screaming intertitles - - FLESHPOTS! - - melodramatic acting, images of raw penetration, scratchy black-and-white cinematography (tinted at `redder' moments) and dry ice to expressive effect.

Yet it gets to the heart of the novel, tearing out the original text's sexual subterfuges and making the exoticism of the Count its pivot. Here, the Harkers and Helsings are bigots who can't handle women's lust, while Drac (Wei-Qiang Zhang) is represented as an immigrant. It's an old story done in an old style, but injected with such florid life and vigour that it sweeps you off your feet. Irresistible.

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