Vampirism, Victorianism and collage in Guy Maddin's Dracula – Pages from a Virgin's Diary
This chapter discusses one of the most recent and – despite the absence of dialogue and anything resembling realistic acting – most faithful adaptations of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), Guy Maddin's 2002 film of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's dance adaptation, set to the music of Gustav Mahler, Dracula –Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Maddin's 'Victorian' interpretation of Dracula is marked by an emphasis on the turn-of-the-century cultural contexts of the novel (gender, medicine, race, imperialism). The film presents 1890s England as seen through the eyes of a knowledgeable 21st century viewer whose close reading of the source text is shaped by critical discussions of the novel and the Dracula myth in popular culture. Vampirizing various cultural artifacts from Caligari to Coppola, Maddin's palimpsestic film ultimately manages to be both highly original and collage, both – in the words of Jonathan Harker's diary – ‘up-to-date’ and ‘nineteenth century […] with a vengeance’.