Saturday, September 07, 2019

Short Film: Taste of Night

This eight-minute Russian film, directed by Liudmila Komrakova and released in 2017, is not what you might first expect. Described on YouTube as a Tango Film, the concentration is on dance. Dance and vampires are not strangers, however. I remember watching the Northern Ballet Theatre’s wonderful rendition of Dracula many years ago and a similar production was given filmic treatment by Guy Maddin in the form of Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary. Hell I even looked at vampire belly-dance film The Bride of Dracula.

Of course, being a short this is a curtailed story but is lushly photographed and has an interesting lore moment.

A motorbike pulls outside a large mansion. We see a dapper gentleman enter the hall where society meet and dance. He prowls the room until eventually taking the hand of a lady and leading her in a tango. At first enthusiastic we see his attention wander as a new person takes his interest. In a gold dress, with her blonde hair, she stands out in the centre of the room and soon he is dancing with her. They continue to dance as the rest of the room are drawn to the window to watch a fireworks display.

vampire revealed
The twist of vampirism is actually no twist, given I am featuring the short (and also given the poster prepared for the short). They are no longer in the room with the others but alone in what might be an abandoned wing of the mansion – lit by myriad candles. He pulls back a sheet and discovers the body of another beau, fang wounds in the cadaver’s neck. She approaches, no longer blonde but with dark hair. This was a fascinating moment. Of course, the answer might be that she wore a wig but… There is a potential implication in Dracula around Lucy’s hair – described early on as having its “usual sunny ripples” this might be read as dark hair with shine but some read it as being a blonde hair colour – once she is undead she is described as, “a dark−haired woman, dressed in the cerements of the grave”. Obviously, the language used does not help but I like the idea that, as the undead, she became darker in hair colour. Changing hair colour is a vampiric trait in Paul Féval’s the Vampire Countess (due to stealing the victim’s hair).

Be that as it may, the dance now changes to one where the dapper man tries to escape his fate…

The imdb page is here.

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