Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘bram stoker

Dracula: My Hypothetical Movie Casting

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Today in the Gothic Literature class I’m in, we started our discussion of Dracula by Bram Stoker. While we did the usual discussion of Jonathan Harker’s uselessness, Mina Murray’s man brain, Dracula’s foreignness, and the many ways in which one can read the text, we additionally talked about the four prominent movie adaptations of the book:  Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931), Horror of Dracula (1958),and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). However, after listing these movies, we discovered that an adaptation of the novel hasn’t come out in the past 20 years that even tries to be faithful to the original story (there was the ill-fated Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler… but yeah…). So we were tasked with casting a movie if we got the opportunity to pick anyone to be in our version of said hypothetical movie. Therefore, my list that I am posting below was born. I think that each of the actors that I’ve placed in certain roles would be able to bring a certain truthfulness to the movie that would resound well with the novel itself. Moreover, I know that some of my choices are a little odd, but I feel that each of the people that I picked would something to the characters that would make them memorable in some way. I hope you enjoy thinking about this as much as I did. 🙂

Dracula Cast List

Dracula— Michael Fassbender

Jonathan Harker— James McAvoy

Dr. Seward— David Tennant

Lord Arthur Holmwood— Matthew MacFadyen

Quincy Morris— Robert Downey Jr.

Abraham Van Helsing— Ian McKellen

Lucy Westenra— Rachel McAdams

Mina Harker— Gemma Arterton

Renfield— Andy Serkis

Bride #1— Kiera Knightly

Bride #2— Natalie Portman

Bride #3— Claire Danes

I have my reasons for placing certain people in certain roles. Moreover, I know that some of them could occupy many different roles in the grand scheme of things.

Summer Reading

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With school finally drawing to a close, I begin to look to days of less things to do which means that I’ll have time to read. I love reading…it comes with the territory of being an English Professor I suppose. However, I have so many books on my “to read” list that I’m having a hard time fathoming what to read first.

1) I have thought of rereading all my treasure Anne Rice books. I love all the vampire books (some a little more than others but that’s splitting hairs), and every time I read them, I learn something new or become more aware of certain characters. These novels are also something that I’m contemplating writing my Master’s thesis over…so, I feel like it might be viable to go back and reread now instead of waiting.

2)The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien. As a fan of fantasy fiction, many people are shocked to find out that I haven’t read all three of the books all the way through. This fact does not mean that I haven’t read a great deal of them; I just haven’t read all of them. I am greatly in love with the movies (as I have watched them to have something to grade papers with this semester). I want to see where they came from, and I know that the books will be better than the movies. It’s pretty much an unwritten fact that the book will be better than the movie hands down.

3) A plethora of other books that I have around that have been collecting dust.
Atonement by Ian McEwan (again loved the movie)
Paradise Lost by Milton (interested in the mythology of the fall of Satan that he presents)
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (being a large proponent of mythology, I have only read pieces of this book…however, since it may play a great part in the creation of my Master’s thesis, I feel like it is worth the read…also, I know that I will enjoy it)

And these are just a few of the books that I have to decide from…I also usually read Bram Stoker’s Dracula about every other summer…so, this book is back in the cycle of things too…Really, I just need to be able to absorb information by osmosis…that would be wonderful…but until then, I am going to have to think about it. Any suggestions people out there. I’m even open to others that might not necessarily be on my “list”.

The Near Future

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So, with the closeness of senior thesis defense looming at the school I work for, I begin thinking about the endeavour I’m about to undertake and the culmination of another thesis which is kinda scary but at the same time it gives me an opportunity to stretch my writing muscles again.

My biggest issue with the whole thing is this, I have no clue what I want to write over. For those of you out there that don’t know, I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the symbolism of the monsters in Dracula and Frankenstein which I found interesting because gothic literature dealing with creatures is kind of a passion on mine. I have quite a base of research when it comes to this topic and also have this thesis to use as a jumping off point. However, I don’t necessarily know that this is what I want to do at the end of the next two years. While I don’t feel my views on the literary body of work have changed (gothic literature with a focus on creatures/monsters) still interest me, I don’t know that I want to something that has necessarily been done. I like originality and know that anything I am likely to do on either of these subjects is going to be a compiling of others’ data and works. My thoughts may be in the document itself…however, it is not new contribution to the study of literature.

Yet, I have been pitching some ideas around in my head that intrigue me, but I don’t know how easy it would be to break the new ground…or if it’s new ground at all.

1) Comparative study of contemporary vampire/horror fiction with emphasis on the creatures of myth and folklore contained within. My focus would mainly be on vampires since they’ve made a resurgence in popular literature. Hopefully, I would follow the vampire from folk lore to the short stories “The Vampyre” by John Polidori and “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu to the quintessential vampire novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. What I would mainly focus on would be newer works of “good” vampire fiction which would include the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I think that it would be interesting to see how the myths have evolved over the years to become the “vampires” that people read about today. I would also discuss the conceptual myths/communal ideas that spurred the rise of the vampire in folklore and how the conception and meaning have changed.

2) Analyze a musical with in the framework of literary relevance. I think this would be an interesting spin on the idea of contemporary analysis. We analyze television shows and movies as “contemporary literature.” Why should musicals be taken under this heading? Now, I know that someone out there is saying that the whole play analysis thing has been done, and while that is true, I believe that this idea would be a little different than that simply because in the musical you cannot simply divorce the music from the text of the piece. The music is as much part of the literature as the written words are…I think this would be an interesting concept to write about and would bridge two of my greatest loves: music and literature. My main drawback with this idea is that most people do not see musical theater as a “academic” theater medium. Why? Because most people think of musicals and think of fluff like Wicked, The Producers, anything Rodgers and Hammerstein, etc. The evidence of fluff musicals shouldn’t eliminate all of them from being studied. I mean my God some of them have won Pulitzer Prizes and other very prestigious awards. So, I know they should not be ruled out simply because they’re a different form of artistic expression.

3) My third idea is probably the one that has been on my mental back burner for a while: Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. However, while most people would deal with Lestat, the “main” character, I believe I would focus on the auxiliary characters because they interest me more than the “brat prince” does. I think if I followed this idea I would discuss the characters in terms of the time periods in which they were “born” into the life of vampirism. I would also discuss the historical accuracy with which Rice portrayed these characters and the reasons she may have chosen to be more accurate or less accurate with some. I have always been enthralled by Rice’s writing, and at some point, I know that I will write over her in academic circles. I just wonder if now would be the right time to start trying to build more of an academic base to formally criticize her work.

So, as most people’s minds turn to the ideas of finals at my school. My mind begins to ponder the future and what it may hold for me in terms of my “contribution” to the world at large. Maybe, I will find my nicht to throw myself into mind, body, and spirit.