Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Reel 20

“Do you believe in destiny? That even the powers of time can be altered for a single purpose?”
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel had seen many film adaptations prior to 1992, with many having only remote connections to its source material. Coppola, then only a few years removed from his GODFATHER PART III, focused his efforts on the first-person narratives of the book, making it more of a personal story as opposed to the monster-movie adaptations which had come before. Coppola compared his vision to an alternate take on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, which brought in sympathy for the devil in his film, making Dracula more than just a set of fangs.

DRACULA also brought in an all-star cast which included (a then nearly unknown) Gary Oldman as Dracula, along with Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Cary Elwes, and Tom Waits. Making many parts of the film feel like an erotic dream and relying on practical effects (CGI was just coming around at the time), the film was a visual marvel. DRACULA would eventually win three Oscars (Costume Design, Sound Effects, Makeup), and also won four Saturn Awards, with Best Director for Coppola and Best Actor for Oldman.

As a young college student preparing a paper on the differences between the mythical and factual Count Dracula, this Blogger was pleased (and most impressed) at just how much both sides were represented in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA. Both myth and legend are given equal representation and put to good use, making DRACULA not only a great book-to-film adaptation, but the absolute best package-deal for the Dracula legend. The film also began this Blogger’s fascination with the other legend, Gary Oldman. And this Blogger also maintains that DRACULA’s score (by Wojciech Kilar) is the best score for a horror film ever written.
Vampire films have been a dime-a-dozen over the past decade or so, but there are none which have done it better over the past twenty years than Francis Ford Coppola’s vision.
“The blood is the life…and it shall be mine.”


No comments:

Post a Comment

A few rules:
1. Personal attacks not tolerated.
2. Haters welcome, if you can justify it.
3. Swearing is goddamn OK.