English 5, period 3
November 18, 2003
2311 E Union Hills #101
Phoenix, AZ, 85024
November 18, 2003
100 Universal Plaza
Universal City, CA, 91608
Dear Mr. Spielberg,
My name is Bogdan Ciutac, and I am a professional screen writer. I wrote many screen adaptations: “The Ambush”, “The Gladiator”, and “The Ox”. I’ve been reading many writings by Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving, and Poe’s “The masque of the red death” caught my attention. I think that “The masque of the red death” is going to be a fabulous movie.
During the course of a plague, Prince Prospero calls together his friends to come to his castle for fun and frolic until the danger of pestilence has passed, and a masquerade is planned. The night of the ball comes, the guests arrive in their costumes and the festivities begin.
The party is interrupted by the arrival of a guest, dressed in the garments of the grave besprinkled with the scarlet blood associated with the plague of "red death." The intruder stalks the halls until confronted by the host in (of course) the black hall. Without explanation, the host falls dead at the masquer's feet and the revelers, setting upon the intruder, find that the costume is "untenanted by any tangible form." Whereupon, the guests began to die in their tracks as they acknowledge the presence of the Red Death.
Now, that you know some about the story I think that “The masque of the red death” would make a good movie because of its setting: gothic architecture, and the disease that stroke the region. Another important aspect is the presence of the supernatural: the appearance of the masqued person, and its description.
The castle and the gothic architecture always make a nice source of imagination because of its scary sight and feeling. First, a castle makes a movie scarier and more mysterious. Therefore, Poe’s describes the castle as an “extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion”. In fact, the castle provided prince Prospero with security from the outside world and especially fro the “Red Death”.
Also, the gothic architecture is represented by bizarre and august feeling. Especially the way how the rooms are arranged shows the bizarre taste of prince Prospero. “But first tell let me of the rooms in which it was held. There were seven --an imperial suite The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. That at the eastern extremity was hung, for example, in blue The second chamber was purple The third was green The fourth was furnished and lighted with orange --the fifth with white --the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was black.” I suppose this will give you an idea of how Poe used the castle and the gothic style to make such an extravagant and magnificent setting for “The masque of the red death.”
Another important aspect of this story is the presence of the supernatural, more specific the appearance of the red masque at the party at a significant time. First of all, the significance and the presence of the supernatural are very important in the gothic setting. Poe is using the elements of the supernatural to emphasize that no one is safe something bad is accruing. But when the “ebony” clock announced midnight, “The whole company seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat.