(Kenneth Branagh, US/Japan 1994, 123 min., 35mm)
Year Without a Summer. Kenneth Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was, at the time of its premiere, the most expensive attempt to translate Mary Shelley’s imagination to the big screen. It was also a noble attempt to hijack her legendary creations from the domain of lurid B-pictures, and imbue the known myth with dignity befitting the tragic and deeply humane themes of the original romantic novel. Branagh excels at directing and shines as the obsessed Doctor Frankenstein, but Robert De Niro steals the show as the Creature in one of the most unusual roles of his career.