Thursday, September 2, 2010
THE SCOOP ON FRANKENSTEIN AND THE VAMPYRE AND THAT WILD TIME IN SWITZERLAND!
But the really interesting thing is they were penned by the two ‘dark horses’ who were there!
I mean everyone expected great writing from Lord Byron and Percy Shelley not Shelley’s 19 year old fiancé, Mary Wollstonecraft nor Byron’s personal physician, John Polidori!
No one including Mary or Polidori expected it either!
The somewhat eccentric but brilliant British Director, Ken Russell made a gem of a film for us in 1986. Like a rare exotic fruit this intoxicating film exposes for our discernment this remarkable time!
Lord Byron with his physician John Polidori along with Percy Shelly and Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley’s fiancé and her half sister Clare Claremont (madly in love with Bryon btw) spend an amazing time at Bryon's summer residence the villa which we get to see!
About those masterpieces: The Vampyre is actually a short story.
It is considered to be the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literacy genre.
- Christopher Frayling.
The story is about Lord Ruthven who no one knows is a vampire! Pretty interesting considering Lord Byron was once described by Lady Caroline Lamb as 'mad bad and dangerous to know!'
Perhaps Polidori was inspired to write such a tale!
As for Frankenstein the iconic horror story about the creature that arose from a crazy quilt of dead tissue and a few well-placed electrical charges is worth considering in light of the fact that there were actually experiments being conducted at the time by those who believed such things were possible!
Mary certainly would have known that and been interested. I think it both fascinated and troubled her and I think what came out of all of that was a vivid nightmare, a great and fantastic nightmare that she shared with the world!
Now about the film, Gothic:
The film allows us a glimpse into the creative process. We get a look at four unique human beings—three of whom were great writers.
As for Clare she was in love with Byron who was not the sort our mothers tend to approve of. She went on (not depicted in this film) to bear a child for him that tragically died. A daughter that Bryon wound up keeping her from seeing!
But I digress. Suffice it to say I feel Gothic is terrific because it captures something memorable--we get a look-in at mad genius and romanticism gone wild!
Gothic is gothic in every way. It is for us as Byron was to Lady Lamb: mad, bad and dangerous to know!
So come on! Take a walk on the wild side, watch Gothic and experience something unforgettable!