Interview With No Vampires

5 01 2013

I am ashamed to say that have spent to better part of the last 3 hours watching teen flick Twilight.

I have always been an avid fan of Vampire mythology . My interest in this genre started in my early teens when I read Bram Stokers Dracula, it is by no means an easy read but it mesmorised me and I remember my excitement the first time I saw the film version with Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves.

A few years later I read Anne Rice’s “Intervew With a Vampire”. This novel had me totally gripped and I remember an older friend helping me to sneak into the 18 rated film when it first came out at the cinema. Over the years I read the whole series from the glory days of Lestat and Louis to the less successful tales of Marius, Vittorio and Pandora. It seemed that Fate had intervened when the man who eventually became my husband shared my passion for this genre and this engaging mythology surrounding immortal beings who shun daylight and thirst for human blood. We both have the same favouite book – Memnoch the Devil.

We recently discovered “True Blood” an American series about Vampires in Louisiana who can survive on synthetic blood. A great Christmas present from my husband that we enjoyed watching together.

Whilst Twilight has never really appealed to either of us the hype surrounding it did come to our attention. I also find that my students recommend their favourite films and books to me – I make an effort to see the sort of Drama they are watching – although only rarely do we share the same tastes.

I saw that Twilight was on over Christmas and set it to record on my TV. I eventually convinced my husband to watch it with me this evening. I was not expecting a life changing experience but given the hype and popularity of this film I expected…something.

I have literally no idea how to review the film as it is unclear what exactly it was trying to be.

It starts as a typical high school film. I cannot fathom the reason for this decision other than that it is easy and accessible. Bella is new to town and notices an unusual family in the school canteen. She is immediately drawn to Edward a sullen looking 17 year old who appears to be concealing a dark and mysterious secret. At this point I thought I had maybe recorded the wrong movie – vampires dont eat, therefore their presense in the canteen seemed an unusual choice and the scene was set during the day. I have no particular issue with writers using some artistic license and create and develop their own mythology but surely a vampires inability to wander the streets before dark is a fundamental  part of their character?

Apparently not. Stephenie Meyer who write the books has created a world in which vampires simply avoid the bright sun as it reveals their diamond encrusted skin….WHAT??? I have not read the books and the movie has not furnished me with any justification for the undead glittering like the sun which they are so keen to avoid. It makes sense that they should avoid being perceived as being “different” and surely Ms Meyer has kept with some of the more traditional myths? But in addition to being able to go out during the day without bursting into flames theie reflection is also seen in mirrors, they exist in close knit family groups, can choose to be vegetarian, dont sleep in coffins and some have the ability to see into the future. There is little evidence of them actually drinking blood n the film but apparently that is the one link to them being vampires.

I struggled to develop a liking for any of the characters. With the exception of the two leads, no one has sufficient screen time to enable any sort of character development. I thought back to my summer holiday when I read and thoroughly enjoyed  Fifty Shades of Grey – perhaps the smouldering sexual tension between the leads is the key to Twilights success. I did not believe in the build up of the “romance” and could see no evidence of any sexual chemistry between the young actors. Robert Pattinson looks bored at best and his performance has no light and shade. Kristen Stewart, a very attractive young woman, is not at her best in her frumpy ourtfits and dishevelled hair, even in the prom scene she wears an unflattering dress showing off a plaster cast on her leg. How this pairing inspired the characters of Anastasia and Christain Grey is beyond me.

The dialogue is clumsy and awkward and even the soundtrack is dull and listless. The make up is extremely OTT and what makes it worse is that having convinced my husband to watch it with me, he has been proven correct – it really wasnt worth the time we spent watching it:

http://sofaruntitled.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/twishite/

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