Thursday, October 25, 2007
Dracula by Bram Stoker was published in 1897. It was, as such, 25 years old at the time of Nosferatu, the first cinematic adaption. At that it was the same age as Stephen King's Different Seasons collection is today. It was 34 years old when the Tod Browning version, the first remake, was released in 1931. That's the age Carrie will be next year. At the time Terence Fisher returned to the material, the previous, very famous, version was 27 years old, more recent than the original Salem's Lot miniseries is today.
I won't go into what any of that means exactly, because it's more complicated than I've made it here. Studios made many more movies back then. There was no video.
Nevertheless, I think we forget to remember the timeline under which these things actually took place when think about it, as they all took place before our time. It's easy to imagine "Dracula" as always having been some long ago piece of literature and not one that was tangibly contemporary to the people who first adapted it or the iconic movies not being released comfortably within the memories of those remaking them. It was not Shakespeare.
Like I said, much different world, but I was sitting down to the BBC Count Dracula and feeling glad that there once was this other time, so I could be enriched by these various and intriguingly different adaptation of this novel.