Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dracula’s Bram Stoker – review (documentary)


Directed by: Sinead O’Brien

First aired: 2003

Contains spoilers

With a turn around of the title Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this is a nice scholarly walk into the life and influences of Bram Stoker that was narrated by John Hurt and which aired on Sky Arts 2. The documentary seeks to find the man behind the novel and in doing so discover, perhaps, where the inspiration for his seminal work came from.

At the head of the documentary the potential source of his childhood, much spent bed-ridden, and the tales told by his mother is offered. Then the documentary wonders if, perhaps, it was within Sir Henry Irving and the almost hypnotic thrall the actor held Bram, his business manager, in or perhaps some of the book was drawn from his passionless marriage…

Bram StokerThe documentary certainly mentions the fact that the scene with Harker and the brides was almost identical to a dream Stoker himself had. It also makes it clear that the makers believe that Stoker had, possibly buried, homosexual leanings (or perhaps a bi-curiosity) and the Freudian analysis of Dracula reveals much. I agree, however, with one expressed thought that Stoker was well aware of exactly what he put within the novel on a sexual level.

There isn’t much in way of revelation within the documentary. It is very sympathetic to the man and makes the point that whilst his obituary made no mention of Dracula at the time of his death, if it was written now it would mention little else – the documentary itself was a point in case as it was very orientated towards that seminal work.

Christopher LeeOne thing that was interesting was a comment by Christopher Lee – film producers take note – when he declared that he would actually reprise the role of Dracula again, if offered, but with one stipulation – it would have to be a faithful make of the book, as one has never yet been produced. Now that would be worth seeing. As for the documentary, for those interested in the man behind the phenomena it was a worthwhile effort. 7 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Zahir al Daoud said...

I keep looking for this. Sounds really good.

Gail Jacqueline Mrs Gray said...

I love Christopher lee and Peter Cushing i have always admired them since 1958 and love all there films they are all my favourites and i also enjoy Christopher's singing voice, these 2 are the best actors in the TV/Cinema world nobody will ever be as good as them.I miss them dearly.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

cheers for stopping by, Gail, and they certainly were iconic

Gail Jacqueline Mrs Gray said...

Thank u Taliesin, i am pleased you agree with me.

mc mox said...

I have been searching for this documentary since I first saw it. Does anyone know where I might find a copy?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi mc Mox, I caught it on TV for review. I'm not aware of it being released for commercial purchase I'm afraid and it doesn't appear to have sneaked onto YouTube