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Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary Review

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A young lawyer is sent to a spooky castle in Transyvlania and there he meets Dracula. The count of the undead is then inspired to head to London for a meeting with the young man's fiancée.

★★★★★

Knowing irony infuses Guy Maddin's use of such long-moribund silent cinema techniques as masks, irises and tinting in this ballet inspired by Bram Stoker's novel, as it complements both the Victorian setting and the notions of 'undeath' and resurrection.

But this is no mere mimicking of Nosferatu's (1921) visual style, as Paul Suderman's camera and Deco Dawson's editing are as nimble as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancers.

Zhang Wei-Qiang is imposing as the Count, bringing menacing sensuality to his seductions, and ruthless tenacity to his joust with Van Helsing. This arty approach may dismay hard-core horror fans, but it captures the dark grace of the original with wit and style.

A fevered, sexy take on the material, it plays up the desires of the female players, the repression of the men and Dracula's status as all-purpose object of dread and desire.

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