Coppola’s first feature film Essay
Coppola’s first feature film
Similarly, the 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola has an equally complex representation of Dracula. Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father was a composer and musician, while his mother had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking.
He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola’s first feature film. In Francis Ford Coppola’s representation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, he chose to portray a typically evil creature as a complicated, ominous yet sensitive individual. In this interpretation, Dracula apparently has human emotions; he is feeling what humans feel. He tried to suck Jonathan Harker’s fianci?? e’s blood but is overcome by emotions and memories of his dead wife, and spares her for the time being.
He also has human urges, both physically and mentally. But despite how humanlike Dracula may seem in this version of Dracula, he is still surrounded by the obvious evidence that point to the evil part of his person . He is dressed in red and black robes which connote blood and sinister-like things. But his polite voice is used as a withdrawal from his unnatural aura. He has weathered and very pale skin which emphasizes the connotations of blood, and ghostlike hair that match the colour of his skin. Also, his ability to take on any form facilitates the fact that he is a sinister character.
Also, the mis-on-scene on various occasions make Dracula seem even more sinister than normal. The music alternates, the lighting is dim on a close up shot which creates a sense of concealment and makes the viewer use their imagination. Despite this, Dracula’s distressed emotional state might make the viewer sympathise with him. This interpretation of Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola would be suitable for an even more modern audience than Nosferatu and Hammer Horror’s version. The viewers of this film will respond to it with a variety of emotions.
They might have been frightened of Dracula because of his ability to transform and take on any form which might spark a sense of paranoia within their minds and make them think that anyone around them could be Dracula himself. But they might also sympathise with Dracula because of his traumatic loss, and might feel a connection with him as they might know how he feels, loosing a loved one. They could view him as a strong-willed and self-controlling villain because it is unlikely for a vampire to resist the urge to bite into fresh skin, especially when it is offered to them on a plate just as Jonathan Harker’s wife was to Dracula.
So why are those 3 representations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula so different? I think it’s due to the time when the movies were made. During the time when Nosferatu was made, the technology was terrible and nothing had been invented that could create a half-decent movie. But in Dracula (1952), technology had clearly developed which made it possible to create a movie including advanced special effects and costumes.
Furthermore, in Francis Ford Coppola’s version in 1992, the technology had improved even more, making room for a movie that re-defines the quality and meaning of the movie: Dracula. Another reason why representations of Dracula changed overtime because people have come up with new ideas. I think this links in with the idea of what society are scared of, which is another reason why the representations of Dracula have changed overtime. This is because as society becomes scared of new things, then people have to come up with new ideas to satisfy the needs and wants of their audience.
I think that Francis Ford Coppola’s representation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the most effective because he portrayed a typically evil being with characteristically no emotions, as a self-controlling and strong willed individual. He turned a villain that is most likely to be a hated icon amongst most people, to something that could draw the feeling of kindness and consideration from the viewers’ hearts, eradicating the fact that he is a blood-sucking villain that deserves to have a stake pushed through his seemingly heartless chest.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 November 2017
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