Monday, November 2, 2015

Dracula and the Aesthete Man

 First off this isn't the Halloween movie analysis I promised.  That's still coming.  Eventually.

I just saw the '31 Dracula.  It was okay. It was interesting to see the first major (excluding Nosferatu) vampire movie and seeing how the vampire mythos has changed over the years.  Originally wolfsbane and not garlic; originally he could turn into a bat and a wolf when it's a rare thing now for a vampire to turn into a bat due-to the lack of modern fright - and of course turning into a wolf is associated with the Were.

Not too great in-terms of story.  Yes I know that we all know who Dracula is and what attributes he has but I felt that even for an audience new to the Drac Man they were incredibly condescending and slow, and really played up the "what!  Vampires aren't real.  C'mon you guys..."  It was hard to hear some of the dialogue in the beginning, but I never understood why he wanted to move to London to begin with.  And I found all of the characters besides the zany caretake of the Insane Asylum to be dull.  It was interesting that Van Helsing was originally a professor (at-least in the movies; don't know what he is in the novel assuming he's in it) when most iterations of him are a macho monster-hunter.  Ending was pretty terrible and I felt like most of the film was filler even for something so short.  I liked vampire movies growing up but never watched much of the Dracula ones (Universal or Hammer) and honestly I don't feel like I missed out on much.  I liked the Universal Frankenstein when I saw it a few years ago.  Maybe I'll see Bride-of in the near future.

Though I did think of a message/analogy for Dracula.  He's Kierkegaard's Aesthete Man.  He has hypnotic/seductive powers and lives off the love or vitality (i.e. blood) of innocent (i.e. virgin) women, corrupting them in the process.  Through his hedonism and constant going from town to town and woman to woman (describing K's Aesthete Man now more, Dracula only loosely follows this) he goes against Christian norms of consistency, loyalty and rejection of earthly pleasures.  Plus he's dressed like a man-about-town who goes out at night, upper-class, sophisticated, so on and what-have-you.  The Aesthete Man is never satisfied, just like Vlad always requires new hosts to feed blood off of to survive.

Because I didn't say it when I should've I'll say it now it's too late... Happy Halloween.

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