September 29, 2015

Time to Rethink Transylvania, Romania

King of Romania
King Michael of Romania
Don't worry I haven't forgotten about the wonderful Transylvania, Romania blog.  I enjoy writing about Romania and in specific, Transylvania.  I love the people and the cultures that this land has to offer, and I am finding more reasons to simply take it all in and write about it.

The biggest challenge right now is simply going back and enjoying every aspect of learning about, in terms of royalty and history.  Not only that buy rethinking it in terms of what I read.

It all makes a difference, writing a blog about Transylvania, Romania.  For example, it's King Michael of Romania who interests me, at nearly 94 years of age, he like Queen Elizabeth has hit many milestones, one of which is that he is the last surviving monarch alive who reigned in the interwar period, and Romania has the distinction of having a child monarch who was deposed by his father, only to regain the throne.  He is also one of three heads of state from World War II who are still alive.  He is in the top twenty list for monarchs in the list of youngest state leaders since 1900. He was 18, but it notes, that he was King under a regency from 1927 to 1930.  That's a fact for people who look to ages for records.

It's time to rethink a number of things.

It's time to rethink about people such as Vlad Tepes whose influence was that of a warlord and now, due to a writer, Hollywood and all the movies influences the country as never before.

It's time to rethink this blog, there is a lot to share, but there is a lot which can and should challenge the readers here.  It is a blog which is growing older, but needs a bit of a change.  It's time to go back and rethink what it means to people who read it, who are from Romania, from North America and beyond.

map of Transylvania
Transylvania and Romania

It means something new, and it means on the one hand stepping back but on the other, finding a passion about each part of Romania that makes a person love the land, the people, the culture and the history.  Places and people make history, but so does a strong sense of passion.

The most important part is to rethink what sorts of views you have about the land, and then spend time re-learning from the mistakes.  Not because you need to, but because you want to.  Romania is a great land and this blog will keep going and will be passionate about the more interesting parts of Romania and Transylvania. Dracula included.

September 3, 2015

Van Helsing and Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is a sought after actor, and one of his roles was that of Van Helsing in the movie Van Helsing.

Although many of us are familiar with the iconic character wolverine, which he portrays, what many others don't realize he was also the title character in the movie Van Helsing, which was about the man who would know much about Dracula, and was one of the major characters in the Stoker novel of the same name.  Van Helsing was it should be noted, a red headed man.

What interests me about this movie was the fact that it was more for an audience who wanted a CGI based view but also the darker aspects of Transylvania.  There was the usual fare of dark, grey colours, and the monsters: Dracula, and werewolves and Frankenstein, and also the damsel with some fighting abilities.

What was interesting was not the movie in and of itself but rather how well Hugh Jackman seemed to fit into the role.  The reason this is of interest to me, is that there is once again talks of a reboot to Van Helsing.  Similar to Dracula, one has to wonder about the idea of rebooting this film.  While it did okay at the box office, I can't see it doing well again.

Van Helsing in my mind is Hugh Jackman.

That being said, what bothered me as well was the typical North American portrayal of the area, of Romania and Hungary.  I sat down to re-watch it to see if there was anything I might have missed, and I am still of the mindset that a mainstream movie is not helping the image of Transylvania.  However, to make it clear they set the time as 1887/1888 and this was when Transylvania was a part of Hungary.

This allowed some leeway in regards to the weapons used and the technology, but that also made for a sort of steampunk motive where there were weapon in the movies which wouldn't have been there at the time.   There was railways and trains and other modern technologies, and in the villages, although there would be cold and snow, the peoples were not by and large a group which would have believed in vampires or would have accepted the fact this man would kill people. This being said, the part of the movie which worked was the actors.  In a sense it's similar to the many royal families of Europe, everyone is related to each other in a round about way.

All of them have non-American accents and these were toned to something with more of an American feel.  A viewer can actually see the actors in their roles.  This was used wisely, and it is really a who is who of 2004 and beyond.