31 October 2007

Nowadays vampires

First, I start by an announcment: this is the post number 100 of this blog !
While I do not believe in vampires (I never met one so far) here is a pretty frightening National Geographic docuementary about living vampires:

Well, Henry, the guy at the beginning of the documentary seems a little bit "gone" :)

29 October 2007

History by Art

I call this posts History by Art because here is a nice summary of the medieval history (in fact, starting earlier, since 1100, up to 1600). We have nice comments, although in French, about the history of art, the evolution of mankind being presented in parallel with the evolution of it's art.
Of course, few seconds are dedicated to our Vlad Dracula, being presented the well-known paintings of the famous Wallachian ruler, a very very short history of his life.

28 October 2007

Transylvania History

the last part of the documentary about Transylvania continues with the storyof Dr. Honigberger, then presents Braşov City, with it's 800 years old history. A typical village, in the middle of Transylvania, is then presented. (I'm almost sure the village is Buneşti, near Viscri).

I ends with a very nice lessons about history, self-knowledge, and the beauty of life. we need to thank Victor Rebengiuc for this documentary made in cooperation with Kmigths of Mediaş order

27 October 2007

Medieval People in Transylvania

People's mentality in middle ages, domintated by the permanent threats of the Evil as well as the simbol of Lyon as opposer of the Evil (represented by the Devil), are presented in this sixth episode.The Devil's representations were threatening and infernal. We are presented the St. Michael church in Cluj, the first example of hall church in Transylvania. The church was attracting all social classes: the beggars were lamenting showing them wounds and handicaps, while the big noblemen and rich people were exposing them jeweleries and luxurious clothes.
The medieval town of Sibiu (European Capital of Culture in 2007) is then presented, big and powerfull. Its walls, large and solid are very well fortified, with thick towers and an water moat surrounding it all around, except for the East. Is the image about Sibiu given five centuries ago by Nicholaus Olahus, nobleman archbishop and diplomat.The misterious and ocult life of Dr. Hinigberger is then presented.

25 October 2007

Fortified Citadels in Transylvania

Printing in medieval ages, the quality of prints during Gutemberg, as well as it's evolution is presented in this part of the Transylvania Documentary.
Also, the Transylvania in the XVIth century, with all the problems derived from the proclamation as autonomous principality (like internal fights for power, etc).
The knighting ceremony is led by a bishop, who was blessing the sword of the future knight. But on the battlefield this was much more glorious.
Codlea citadel, near Braşov, is presented. It has been unsuccesfully besieged by a captain of Vlad Dracula, that was punished by impaling.
Făgăraş citadel , at the foothills of the mountains, was like a small dukedom, the Făgăraş noblemen obeying the castleman as them ruler. The besiege of Făgăraş was led by Dracula itself.
The walls of Prejmer are about 5 meters thick at the bottom. On the inside there are a lot of rooms, connected by porches and small balconies. The altar in Evangelical Church of Mediaş, with Austrian and Deutch influences presents bible scenes that were educating people in the middle ages.

24 October 2007

Transylanian History

This is the fourth part of the documentary about Tranyslvania. This part speaks about the saxon collonial population, the reason why they left Saxonia and arrived in the eastern part of austro-hungarian Empire. Also while admiring images from Sighişoara, we learn about the way the small town was ruled, the town's defending walls and towers. The tournament is presented as a game of love, as having the motivation in showing the beloved girl what the man is able to do in order to protect his worhiped lover. The apparition of the numerous fortified churches is also explained. Each village fortified the church and even build arond strong defensive fortifications. Even Mattheus Corvin, son of John Huniady, helped the villagers build the fortifications, by temporary cutting the taxes and not asking them to contribute to the king's army. The defending methods are all concentrated around the citadel (example the fortification of Apold). More concentric walls have been built, so if the enemy would succed overpass the first wall it'll be much more difficult to pass the others. When a peril were announced, villagers were brought the assets and cattle inside the fortress, the entrance bridge was closed and the warriors were going to the surveing positions.
Biertan fortified citadel, the most famous of all of them, is also presented, as well as Harman, Câlnic, Sebeş, each of them helping understand the life of the inhabitants and the military defending systems.

23 October 2007

Documentary about Vlad Dracula

Third party of the documentary speaks about the medieval town of Sighişoara, the house where Dracula was born in 1430 - 1431, his strange relation with John Hunyadi, governor of Hungary and ruler of Transylvania, a hero of Christian World. Hunyadi's castle in Hunedoara is also presented, with it's gothic architecture and his evolution in time. The legend explains history of Iancu of Hunedoara (John Hunyadi) by him, killing with an arrow ravens that steal his royal ring. Therefore the Hungarian kind decided to give him the lands around Hunedoara, as well as put the raven on John's coat of arms.
Then we can see the ruins of Vlad's princely court in Târgovişte, his first residence as Wallachian ruler. Chindia Tower is also to be seen near the ruins. While is true what the documentary mentions, that Vlad's punishment methods are similar to the one use during middle-ages by other rulers like Ivan Third, Luis 11th, Families of Visconti, Sforza and Borgia, Richard IIIrd or The Inquisition. However I'd say the punishments of Dracula spread allover Europe because he exposed them, he used terror to impose law and order in Wallachia. Is unbelievable people were used to this, were watching this "spectacles" with a strange joy, satisfaction and happiness.
While we are not sure about how Vlad Dracula died, the theory presented (his killing by one of his men) could be true, but there are no proofs to sustain this.

22 October 2007

Transylvania Documentary Movie

Here is the second part of the documentary about Transylvania
starts with the presentation of the cemetery of Sighişoara, in the heart of Transylvania, "unknown , but full of magic, mystery and superstitions".

A brief presentation of Bram Stoker's novel follows. Even if the inhabitants did not hear about Dracula the vampire, the vampires are well-known here in Transylvania. They area said to bring a lot of harm: after killing them own relatives, they call the other vilagers from the bell-tower of the church, so the villagers die suddenly. Very interesting is the comparison of vampire's killing with a steak thru it's hears, the same way St. George killed the dragon with a spear. Interesting because, indeed, in Transylvania I also noticed a lot of representations of this fight, cuminating with the 1373 bronze-cast statue, representation of the endless confrontation between Good and Evil, dragons, Lucifer's warriors, oposing God's Angels

While is true the merchants spread the legends about Vlad Dracula, is supposed that Matthias Corvinus contributed actively to this, in order to explain Pope why he didn't support Dracula in his fight against the Turks. Although in Rome and Venice Vlad Ţepeş was considered a hero of Christianity (due to his victories against the Ottoman Empire) the stories begun to "catch some roots", people start to believe this histories and exagerations.

This part of the documentary ends with a panoramic view of Sighişoara.

The first part is here

Halloween in Romania

Over 100 American tourists reserved the Hotel Castel Dracula in Tihuta Pass Bârgau Mountains, Bistrita for the night of October 31st to November, 1st .
They’ll spend the Halloween here, as they do every year. The organizers have prepared for them a full schedule for them, ending with the Halloween night, when they use masks, dance around the fire, they entertain themselves climbing the walls, preparing food directly from the camp fire and…wait to meet Count Dracula by midnight.
Something similar can be organized by Outdoor Holidays (TM) a romanian adventure tours travel company.

21 October 2007

In Transylvania, on the tracks of Dracula

Well, I found this very nice documentary about Transylvania made by Kogaion Film and a romanian director, Pascal Ilie Virgil. Bran Castle is presented as well as his lack of connections with Stoker's story. Than we focus our attention on the town of Bistriţa, in the North.
One can also admire images from Fagaras Castle, (seconds 50 - 65), Sighişoara (Vlad Dracula's birth place), Braşov City (Dracula lived here between his first and his second reign) with the old council square and the Black Church.
Also images from the place of Poienari Castle - the Real Dracula Castle.

20 October 2007

Dracula: Dead and Loving It

This Parody of Dracula Movies is really amusing.
Except few things that have nothing to do with reality (for example women in Transylvania don't wear that type of cap) it is really entertaining:

Short movies from "Dracula 2000" to "Join me in Death"

here we have a compilation with short sequences from "Dracula 2000" (Gary oldman & Winona Ryder) to HIM's "Join me in Death" :

18 October 2007

clips from Bram Stoker's Dracula

Good music and a nice compilation of sequences from the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder.

11 October 2007

Dracula returns to London

From the same movie Dracula A.D. 1972, the scene called "Dracula returns to swinging London", with Christopher Lee:

10 October 2007

Dracula Movie 1972

Another scenes from the same Dracula AD 1972 with Christopher Lee :

I don't know why but I still like more Bela Lugosi :)

08 October 2007

Dracula 1972

Here we have the opening scene of the movie Dracula Anno Domini 1972, a party with the Stoneground:

07 October 2007

Presentation of Dracula A.D. 1972

Here is another short presentation clip of the film...Even if Dracula got a steak through his heart, a bunch of kids had risen him from the grave. So we have Dracula A.D. 1972:

06 October 2007

Dracula A.D.1972

The Prince of Terror.

Another classical film about Dracula is the one released in 1972, featuring "the prince of terror", Christopher Lee (as Dracula) and Peter Cushing (as prof. Van Helsing). Watch the promo here:

Best Version of Dracula ?

The final scene the the 1977 BBC's movie.

Discutions over who's better Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Louis Jordan will be forever, but I think the value of a movie is not given only by the main actor, but the scenery , music, etc.

When asked if she's afraid, Mina's answers: "Of course not, I'm in your hands!". Mina (interpreted by Judi Bowker) has a complexe role, she saves Jonathan by shooting one of count's men.

After the fight the atmosphere slowly become creepy as they reach Dracula's cave in the castle (Alnwick Castle has been used as location). Interesting what happens when they kill Vampire Dracula by sunset, in his cave. He evaporates as a powerfull steam. Nothing remains out the the Count's body. Profesor Van Helsing (Frank Finley) thanks God for protecting them and for choosing them to be His instruments (in getting rid of the vampire).

04 October 2007

Count Dracula, Lucy's first victim

I agree with the comment that says this version gets everything right. Genuinely creepy and surreal. Is also accurate to Bram Stoker's book

03 October 2007

Count Dracula, BBC 1977

Continuing the presentation of sequences from the BBC movie Count Dracula.
Count's brides seem to share the same soul, so killing one affects the other, Mina.

02 October 2007

Count Dracula BBC 1977

Lucy (Susan Penhaligon) and Mina (Judi Bowker) meet skipper Swales (interpreted by George Malpas), a strange character, scaring, funny and excentric in the same time. The story of the suicide, falling of a cliff, comes back in this movie as well: