Dracula (1993)

coppola.jpeg Coppola's film differs from previous adaptations of Dracula in that he bases the narrative on Bram Stoker's novel. This was interwoven with the historical source of the vampire, the Eastern European nobleman and infamous warlord, Vlad Tepes (who earned the name Vlad the Impaler from the method of slow death to which he subjected his adversaries), thus re-grounding the myth in reality for a sceptical modern audience.

Bram Stoker's Dracula is firmly embedded in the horror tradition, the lavish visual portrayal of character and events giving the film a distinctive style and presence. However, compared to the earlier (1922 & 1931 ) versions,the main narrative drive is that of the Count seeking his lost love and the progress of their reunification. Paralleled as it is by the relationship between Jonathan and Mina, and to a much lesser degree, Lucy and her suitors, the story of Dracula here becomes very much a love story, evoking understanding and sympathy for the Count's plight running in counterpoint to the horror and revulsion we feel for him.
When Bram Stoker wrote his novel in the dying years of the nineteenth century, Britain was still very much a patriarchal society, with the image of the ideal woman as mother and homemaker. However, women were beginning to challenge the status quo and the Victorian male was aware that his dominant position was under threat.
In the novel and the film, this threat is portrayed visually by the changes which take place when a woman has been bitten by a vampire. The most obvious manifestation of this is is an increased sexual awareness which has traditionally been the preserve of the male.
This sexual awakening of women is portrayed in terms of 'infection', mirroring the fears of Victorian society about the spread of syphilis and venereal disease which, like vampirism, led to the degeneration into madness and eventual death of the victim. succubi-7.jpeg
By the time of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992, AIDS had replaced syphilis as the 'punishment' for promiscuous sexual behaviour'. (refer Emerson College interview )
Compare the interpretations of the roles of the women in all the Dracula films we've studied. To what extent do their interpretations reflect changing different attitudes to women?
Coppola's Dracula also makes use of more sophisticated filming technology.
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