BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, the amazing film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring the brilliant performance by Gary Oldman as the titular character, came out in 1992 when I was a Sophomore in high-school.
I went to go see it with a new group of friends that I has just earned my spot among, as they were all a part of the drama program and I so desperately wanted to included among them. They were all older than me, by one or two years, yet I identified with them more than my peers in my own class. We sat transfixed during this beautiful film. We cried, our hearts pounded with pure emotion of love, loss and the desperation to find love again – at any cost. I bought the score by Wojciech Kilar as soon as I could get my teenage angsty hands on it and I listened to it over and over for months. Mainly the “theme” song called “Love Song for a Vampire,” performed by the mesmerizing Annie Lennox.
Go with me on this, because this is an important part of me and it’s hard (in some ways) to share this on the information super highway. This movie, this story, hit so hard with me. Because I saw parts of myself in Dracula. The boundless love for one person, the rage at being betrayed by the God you fought for, the determination to cheat death to only live long enough to find your true love again. I wanted to be loved by someone, so badly, like these characters I saw unfold and this story being their path to finding that love, again. I saw others around me find their loves and I felt so alone. So lost and so different than those around me.
“Come into these arms again and set this spirit free.”
I used to believe that even if it cost my soul as the price, I would find the love that burned in my heart. Even if I had to find that love by going to Hell and back, I would. Because it was what I wanted and needed to find happiness and to be free.
Turns out I didn’t have to go to Hell and back – just college and then I found Bethany and the love that I sought. And years later, I found it again in the smile of a five month old little boy, that loves his father and his father would endure the price of immortality, to let his boundless love, protect him.
Model: Briana Thistle
Costume by: Michelle Pettengill
Photography and Photoshop art: Reality Reimagined
Gear: Canon EOS R, RF 24-70 F2.8, Godox Photo Equipment Co. Ltd AD600, modifiers by Strobepro
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