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Entries in Bram Stoker's Dracula (10)

Thursday
Nov012018

Netflix in November: Doctor Strange, 16 Candles, Children of Men, etc...

Time to play Streaming Roulette. Each month, to survey new streaming titles we freeze frame the films at random places with the scroll bar and whatever comes up first, that's what we share!

Here's what's new on Netflix...

When you leave, you should forget me.

The English Patient (1996) won 9 Oscars. Nine! As much as that's a wonderful movie -- and my god it hurts to look at these two (Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas in they're prime) they're so superhumanly gorgeous -- 9 is a lot. I'm glad Oscar has recently moved away from giving all the statues to one movie. It's been 10 years since we've had that kind of overkill (Slumdog Millionaire with 8)... and lately things have been winning closer to 3-5 which is more than enough for most movies, even the great ones...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov132017

The Furniture: 25 Years Trapped in Castle Dracula

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. 

Bram Stoker’s Dracula turns 25 years old today. It is, appropriately, not dead. Not that a film can die, exactly, but this one has held onto its toothy vigor with particular success. Even the ridiculous way Keanu pronounces “Bewdapest” still charms. Eiko Ishioka’s Oscar-winning costumes seem simultaneously ancient and way ahead of their time. The same goes for the Oscar-winning makeup, which transforms Gary Oldman across centuries with bewildering commitment. The visual effects, which went unnominated, remain thrilling, a dizzying phantasmagoria of cinematic shadow-puppetry.

But I’m here to rave about the only nominated category that the film didn’t win. Production designer Thomas E. Sanders and art director Garrett Lewis were nominated, but they lost to Howards End. Hard to argue with that, of course. Yet their work on Bram Stoker’s Dracula is just as worthy in its complexity, engaging with the material deep within the extravagance and color. Sanders and Lewis demonstrate a creativity well beyond the Gothic castles and thick cobwebs of the genre’s lesser films, shining a newly bloodstained light on this most famous of vampire stories.

The home of the monstrous count itself is a perfect example. Dracula lives in a decaying tower, but a fraction of his former seat of power. It hovers over a cliff in a remote corner of Transylvania, all but removed from the eyes of the living. It cascades upwards, every story more mangled than the last...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May032017

Today's Five: Don't go into that castle, Jonathan Harker! 

by Nathaniel R

We got a little carried away with our "on this day" posts these past few months. They were meant just to be fun and festive quickies and not take over so REDUCE REDUCE. Moving forward we'll give you 5 reasons to celebrate any given day because a) we're trying to stay positive b) it's good to be alive and c) who knows how much longer we'll be able to do that with nut-job man-babies running the world's most weaponized countries? So put on your party hats every day, is the point. 

Five Showbiz-Related Anniversaries (May 3rd)

2002 Sam Raimi's pop and playful superhero picture Spider-Man opens in theaters to massive then record-breaking returns. We were all so innocent back then. There was really only Batman and Spider-Man (Superman still on his long hiatus) and no "universes" to obsess over. If only even 1/10ths of the superhero pictures that came after it these past 15 years were shot as inventively (but they can't all be Raimis)

In its honor today: Look at yourself in the mirror the appreciative way Tobey Maguire does when he wakes up after that spider-bite, improved. You're awesome. Maybe you just didn't notice it before?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct292016

Oscar Horrors: The Makeup of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992)

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening we look back on a horror-connected nomination until Halloween. Here's Chris Feil on Bram Stoker's Dracula's makeup...

Bram Stoker's Dracula is as drenched in blood as it is in design excess. Nearly 25 years on, the film is surely one of Francis Ford Coppola's strangest in his filmography. Opulent while utilizing practical effects, the film is smartly-made eye candy that flashes both its brain and budget. Imagine a lavish and gruesome horror film for adults being dropped on today's audiences during the holiday/awards months - stranger yet, imagine it being a hit and nabbing some Oscars too, including for it's makeup design.

Part of the film's goal is establishing a vision somewhat closer to that gothic romance of Bram Stoker's original novel, including that of the titular monster...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May262016

Bram Stoker's Dracula, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Peggy Lee Fever

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1828 Feral teenager Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering Nuremberg, claiming to have been raised in total isolation. Theories abound and the story inspires many artists down the road including Werner Herzog in the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974).
1877 Influential dancer Isadora Duncan is born. Vanessa Redgrave gets an Oscar nomination playing her in Isadora! (1968)
1886 Al Jolson is born. Will later star in the first "talkie" The Jazz Singer (1927)
1894 Silent film star Norma Talmadge is born
1897 Bram Stoker's epistolary novel "Dracula" is published. Never stops being adapted for film and television but our hearts will always belong to Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) despite the aggravating double possessive
1907 John Wayne was born. Did he always talk like that?
1913 Peter Cushing is born in England. Later stars in Hammer Horror films with his irl best friend Christopher Lee, the Dracula to his Van Helsing. Perhaps most famously Carrie Fisher 'recognizes his foul stench' when she's captured in Star Wars
1914 Geoffrey Unsworth, two time Oscar winning genius cinematographer is born. Shot so many gorgeous movies like 2001, Cabaret, TessSuperman as well as a legendary bad one in Zardoz

1920 Peggy Lee is born. The popular singer was mysteriously left out of AMPAS's annual "In Memoriam" section at the Oscars despite numerous film connections, like voicing multiple characters in Lady in the Tramp, starring in a remake of The Jazz Singer, popularizing the song "Why Don't You Do Right?" in Stage Door Canteen (later spectacularly used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?), and even nabbing an admittedly strange supporting actress nomination for Pete Kelly's Blues (1955). Now where's that biopic we were promised from Todd Haynes starring Reese Witherspoon?
1926 Miles Davis is born. His biopic is in theaters currently because famous men get biopics.
1948 Stevie Nicks emerges with her diaphamous shawls from mother's womb; starts spinning. We see her gypsy.
1949 The legendary Pam Grier is born. Also answers to "Coffy," "Foxy Brown," and "Jackie Brown"
1961 Tarsem Singh is born. Eventually trades truly weird beautiful auteurial stuff for still weird CGI mainstream drudgery


1966 Helena Bonham Carter is born. Initially pegged as Merchant Ivory's favorite dress up doll, she goes on to have a rather spectacularly enduring career. Happy 50th Helena!

Helena's 10 Best Performances? My List...

  1. Wings of the Dove (1997) shoulda won the Oscar
  2. Fight Club (1999) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  3. Howard's End (1992) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  4. Sweeney Todd (2007) shame about the singing voice. because otherwise...
  5. A Room With a View (1986) 
  6. Suffragette (2015)
  7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  8. Eyesore in Wonderland (2010)
  9. Lady Jane (1985)
  10. Hamlet (1990)

1971 Lenny, by Julian Barry. opens on Broadway. Barry adapts it to film three years later with Bob Fosse directing. They both receive Oscar nominations. Lenny even gets a third life in a way when it basically serves as the film within the film of All That Jazz
1984
"Let's Hear It For the Boy," from Footloose, hits #1 on the pop charts. Goes on to an Original Song nomination at the Oscars. Loses to "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder from Woman in Red
2006 X-Men: Last Stand, the third X-Men motion picture, opened in theaters and was bad enough to destroy the franchise...except they kept right on making them. Tomorrow X-Men 6 opens, better known as X-Men Apocalypse.

Wednesday
May182016

Henry & Eleanor, Frank & Bram, and The Breakfast Club

On this day in movie related history... 

1152 King Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their romance is later fictionalized in the ever popular play/movie The Lion in Winter which we've written about several times

1897 Frank Capra is born in Italy. He'll immigrate to the US at five years old and become one of the most famous film directors of all time.  Across the ocean in London a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" is staged. Frank Capra never makes a movie influenced by Dracula but everyone else does.

Meredith Wilson writing music1902 There's trouble right here in River City Mason City when Meredith Wilson is born. He'll later write The Music Man but not before accruing Oscar nominations for film scoring (The Little Foxes, The Great Dictator)

1912 The first Indian film Shree Pundalik is released in Mumbai. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of movies will follow in its wake from the ever prolific Indian film industry, better known as "Bollywood". Over in the US, Richard Brooks is born and will go on to become a famous screenwriter and director. Four must-sees from his filmography: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), In Cold Blood (1967), and Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)

1931 Robert Morse is born, becomes darling cross media actor winning 2 Tonys and 1 Emmy.

...Unfortunately Emmy, given the opportunity to reward him with a career capping statue, robs him blind decades later for his unforgettable farewell on Mad Men

1970 Tina Fey is born so that we might have 30 Rock and Mean Girls.

1985 Simple Minds hits #1 with Don't You Forget About Me" the theme song from teen classic The Breakfast Club. Oscar forgets about it in the Best Original Song category. Do you think it deserved to knock one of these songs out? Let's readjudicate the race in the comments.

Oh come on you know you want to!

Illustration to the right by Johanna The Mad

2003 Musical sensation Les Misérables closes on Broadway after 16 years and 6,680 performances. Becomes super-divisive big-grossing Oscar-winning movie 9 years later. Is nominated for Best Original Song