It’s fair to say 2012 has been great for women werewolves. Lycanthropes have also had some ups and downs in literature and pop culture this year; and as for gatherings of werewolf fans, there was one disastrous convention and one that was quite good. Continue reading →
If you haven’t heard of Sturla Gunnarsson’s Beowulf and Grendel, released in 2005, don’t confuse it with the mo-cap movie that came out years later. This version, starring Gerard Butler as Beowulf, is a more primal take on movie-making, with much of the atmosphere coming from the Icelandic locations. The difficulties posed by the weather, among other things, were epic; that story is told in the documentary Wrath of Gods, which I plan to post about soon.
For now, read what Canadian filmmaker Gunnarrsson had to say about shooting in his homeland.
Where two cultures merge
Iceland-born director brings Anglo-Saxon epic to his homeland
Beowulf & Grendel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sturla Gunnarson is bringing an ancient hero to life in the wilds of Iceland. The Icelandic-Canadian filmmaker is helming a international production of Beowulf and Grendel, starring Gerard Butler and Ingvar Sigurdsson.
Beowulf, a poem written in Anglo-Saxon, is believed to be one of the oldest extant works of English literature. Ironically, none of its characters are English. The plot centres on the struggles of a Scandinavian warrior, Beowulf, against the monster Grendel. Continue reading →
Despite the vampire fiction genre taking its place in the mainstream — and the movies that have followed — in the 21st century, one vamp still reigns as the granddaddy of them all: Dracula. But is that just because he’s become a classic monster? Is he still relevant? Can he still be compelling? Offbeat, acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin — Icelandic by descent and from Winnipeg, to boot — tackles those questions in his adaptation, with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, in Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary.
Once bitten, twice Guy
Maddin, RWB reinvent classic vampire
Cover of Dracula – Pages from a Virgin’s Diary
A character like Dracula comes with a lot of baggage. Despite the relatively recent explosion of vampire fiction (and keep in mind this review was written in 2003, before the explosion of Twilight — DJF), Bram Stoker’s incarnation of the blood-sucking count, followed hard by Bela Lugosi’s screen portrayal, looms large in the popular conception of the ultimate creature of the night.
That hasn’t stopped filmmakers from sallying forth to capture Dracula — but given the heavyweights who have left their mark on the mythos (F.W. Murnau, Terence Fisher, even Francis Ford Coppola), you might think all has been said and done. Continue reading →