alexxkay: (Bar Harbor)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] kestrell, [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo and I watched The Addiction (1995). It's a vampire movie, but quite a different one. It focuses on a young woman studying for her Doctorate in Philosophy at NYU. Her studies are interrupted when, walking home one night, she gets bitten and (she slowly realizes) Turned. She then applies her philosophical learning to the problem of coping with her new state of being, with... mixed results.

It's a black & white film, so there isn't much visual gore. There *is* some quite disturbing violence, but the impact comes from context and emotions more than raw imagery.

Vampires are, for once, *not* a metaphor for sex, but for the human drive ("addiction") to do evil. This is expressed on many different levels, ranging from the Holocaust to domestic abuse. (The others watching thought there were too many of these levels to cohere, but I thought it worked.) While the film is not 100% successful (the ending, in particular, confused all of us), it was very thought-provoking and prompted a long after-film discussion. I want to read a [livejournal.com profile] siderea review of it :-) (I'm not sure she'd *like* it, but I'm sure it would prompt interesting responses.)

Christopher Walken gets second billing, but he actually is in only one scene, though it is a doozy. It says something about how offbeat this movie is that, during the aforementioned discussion, I found myself describing Christopher Walken as "the voice of normalcy". It made sense in context, but is not something I would have expected to say about Walken.
alexxkay: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kestrell and I watched this movie last weekend, and quite liked it.

On one level, it's a typical YA story. 12-year-old Oskar is living with his divorced mom, though occasionally gets to visit his (gay?) dad. He has a hard time dealing with school bullies, and the teachers seem to pay no more attention to him than his parents do. He has a morbid interest in violent crimes, and hides a folder of newspaper clippings about them under his bed, along with a knife.

Then a new family moves in to the apartment next door, an older man, and a girl (Eli) who seems be Oskar's age. They don't hit it off right away, but they gradually draw closer. Neither of them gets as much support as they want from the adults in their lives, and they come to realize that only in each other can they find the human contact which they each crave.

Well, as long as you have a broad enough definition of 'human', that is. Eli protests that she isn't *exactly* a girl, and says that she's "been twelve for a very long time". And the older man she lives with is (probably) not really her father, but more what a White Wolf fan would refer to as her ghoul -- he goes out at night, kills people, drains their blood, and brings it back home to Eli. Yes, Oskar's only real friend turns out to be a vampire.

For a vampire movie, this is rather subdued and slow-paced. There is occasional action, and gore, but never to excess. It plays some interesting games with classic vampire lore along the way, including a unique take on why they have to be invited in. (Though the 'rules' of vampires in this story are only alluded to, never fully explained.)

As a YA coming-of-age story, it has a lot of depth. There are intriguing layers of gender ambiguity. And the society of adults gets portrayed as a very cold place, both literally and figuratively (the film is set in Sweden, during winter).

The actors were generally competent (though some of the child voices for the english dub were pretty poor). Special recognition to Lina Leandersson, whose portrayal of Eli hit a lot of very interesting and complex notes.

This film gave me the rare pleasre of having no idea where it was headed. A story with this set-up could have gone to a lot of different places. Without spoilers, I will merely say that I found the conclusion satisfying. Recommended.
alexxkay: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kestrell and I watched this movie last weekend, and quite liked it.

On one level, it's a typical YA story. 12-year-old Oskar is living with his divorced mom, though occasionally gets to visit his (gay?) dad. He has a hard time dealing with school bullies, and the teachers seem to pay no more attention to him than his parents do. He has a morbid interest in violent crimes, and hides a folder of newspaper clippings about them under his bed, along with a knife.

Then a new family moves in to the apartment next door, an older man, and a girl (Eli) who seems be Oskar's age. They don't hit it off right away, but they gradually draw closer. Neither of them gets as much support as they want from the adults in their lives, and they come to realize that only in each other can they find the human contact which they each crave.

Well, as long as you have a broad enough definition of 'human', that is. Eli protests that she isn't *exactly* a girl, and says that she's "been twelve for a very long time". And the older man she lives with is (probably) not really her father, but more what a White Wolf fan would refer to as her ghoul -- he goes out at night, kills people, drains their blood, and brings it back home to Eli. Yes, Oskar's only real friend turns out to be a vampire.

For a vampire movie, this is rather subdued and slow-paced. There is occasional action, and gore, but never to excess. It plays some interesting games with classic vampire lore along the way, including a unique take on why they have to be invited in. (Though the 'rules' of vampires in this story are only alluded to, never fully explained.)

As a YA coming-of-age story, it has a lot of depth. There are intriguing layers of gender ambiguity. And the society of adults gets portrayed as a very cold place, both literally and figuratively (the film is set in Sweden, during winter).

The actors were generally competent (though some of the child voices for the english dub were pretty poor). Special recognition to Lina Leandersson, whose portrayal of Eli hit a lot of very interesting and complex notes.

This film gave me the rare pleasre of having no idea where it was headed. A story with this set-up could have gone to a lot of different places. Without spoilers, I will merely say that I found the conclusion satisfying. Recommended.
alexxkay: (Default)
Fun fluff, if not nearly as cool as the original. Lots of callbacks to the original, and the same basic plot structure. I really liked Corey Feldman's performance, reprising his role of Edgar Frog, comic-book-geek/vampire-hunter. Also, cool (if brief) performance by Tom Savini in the opening sequence.

(Bechdel test: Fail, no surprise)
alexxkay: (Default)
Fun fluff, if not nearly as cool as the original. Lots of callbacks to the original, and the same basic plot structure. I really liked Corey Feldman's performance, reprising his role of Edgar Frog, comic-book-geek/vampire-hunter. Also, cool (if brief) performance by Tom Savini in the opening sequence.

(Bechdel test: Fail, no surprise)
alexxkay: (Default)
Read a really good short story last night over dinner, one which joins what I now have to consider a genre: the "Stealth Vampire" story. The defining characteristics of these stories are:
1) The word "vampire" is never used.
2) The story is structured in such a way that the average reader won't realize that there are vampires in it until 25-50% of the way through the story.

On the one hand, I'm curious how many of these exist. On the other hand, it's always more fun to read such stories without knowing, a priori, that they are in this genre, as merely knowing that much is a large "spoiler". As a compromise position, I'm going to list the ones I've found so far beneath a cut. If you don't mind spoilers, and are able to add to my list, I'd appreciate that.
Read more... )
alexxkay: (Default)
Read a really good short story last night over dinner, one which joins what I now have to consider a genre: the "Stealth Vampire" story. The defining characteristics of these stories are:
1) The word "vampire" is never used.
2) The story is structured in such a way that the average reader won't realize that there are vampires in it until 25-50% of the way through the story.

On the one hand, I'm curious how many of these exist. On the other hand, it's always more fun to read such stories without knowing, a priori, that they are in this genre, as merely knowing that much is a large "spoiler". As a compromise position, I'm going to list the ones I've found so far beneath a cut. If you don't mind spoilers, and are able to add to my list, I'd appreciate that.
Read more... )

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Alexx Kay

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