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7. Dracula (1958), dir. Terence Fisher

I synchro-watched this with [personal profile] lady_lugosi1313 yesterday afternoon, as we were in need of some comfort-viewing. I've reviewed it a bunch of times before (previous reviews all linked from here: LJ / DW), so won't say too much about it here. We mainly spent the time squeeing over its many wonderful features - the pineapple, Lee's swishy cloak, the resolution of the Cushing finger and the expansive feel of the sets. And occasionally discussing the continuity questions it raises, like how come it is May when Harker arrives at Dracula's castle, but 1st December when Dracula's hearse goes through the customs post at Ingstadt.

[personal profile] lady_lugosi1313 did raise the interesting question of whether the Bride means it on any level when she talks about what an evil man Dracula is, and how he is keeping her a prisoner in the castle. That is, is it all wholly a ruse to get Jonathan Harker to come close enough to her for her to bite him? Or is it to some degree a true reflection of how she feels about having become a victim of Dracula herself at some time in the past and been condemned to vampirism because of it, which the vampire possession now affecting her can easily mobilise precisely because it is true? I suspect that probably is part of what is meant, in the same way as we later see Lucy calling Tania to play with her and greeting Arthur with a request for a kiss - both things she would have wanted to do in her human life, but now hideously twisted to a demonic purpose.

Also, I'm not sure I'd picked up the full implications of the 'we' in this little exchange between Arthur and Van Helsing before:
ARTHUR: There's so much in Jonathan's diary I don't understand. Can Dracula really be as old as it says here?

VAN HELSING: We believe it's possible.
I do know that he goes on to say "I've carried out research with some of the greatest authorities in Europe and yet we've only just scratched the surface" only a few lines later, but there he distinguishes more carefully between himself acting as an individual ("I") and the combination of that self and the authorities he has worked with ("we"). Meanwhile, the earlier "we believe" doesn't quite work to mean "Jonathan and I believe" by this point either, given that both characters in the scene know that Jonathan is dead, so he'd be more naturally spoken of in the past tense. Obviously I am vastly over-reading dialogue which only ever aspired to be fit for purpose here, but anyway to me it speaks of a team of active vampire hunters, of whom Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing are the two who happen to have been selected to go and deal with Dracula, but whose numbers are greater and who form a separate and distinct group from the greatest authorities in Europe whom VH has also consulted in the course of their work. That's what I like to think, anyway.


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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
chrisleefan1956
May. 16th, 2020 06:28 am (UTC)
Like
chrisleefan1956
May. 16th, 2020 06:45 am (UTC)
Christopher lee visits me at home.
I am a biographical writer since 2008, i had always done a book for Michael Schumacher so 3 years ago i decided to do another this time for Christopher lee and Peter Cushing, i went to bed the usual time of 10.pm and i woke up around midnight feeling cold than usual i was just about to get out of bed to do a hot water bottle and i could see a tall dark figure in my bedroom ,so i spoke to it thinking it was my late husband and it replied in a young voice saying No. so i replied who are you and what to do want with me. He chuckled and replied You know who i am it puzzled me, i did not reply then he said Thank you for writing a book for Peter and I. Then it dawned on me are you Christopher lee, he answered straight away and replied Yes i am. we had a great chat and he told me he would help me with my book. he knew i had writers block, i cried heavierly and told him i had missed him and Peter. so every night for 2 months the same time we chat about why i was writing the book, he knew i admired Peter and him, i told him i wrote to his wife but she has not acknowledged it, so he said Tell Gitte i still love her and miss her and Christina there daughter. and you saw me, so i did but to this very day i still have had no replies but i am a determined person and i will save up and publish it then if she contacts me and wonders why i got it published i shall tell her.

Edited at 2020-05-16 06:49 am (UTC)
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