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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Movies You Should See: Byzantium


Remember that fantastic vampire movie with a female relationship at the center of the story? Or right, probably not, because it didn't get shit for press or even word of mouth. Well, I'm here to tell you to DROP EVERYTHING AND WATCH BYZANTIUM!

It is hands down one of the best vampire movies I've seen since the original Let the Right One In (Swedish: Låt den Rätte Komma In). This is the Neil Jordan (directing) at his finest. Stunning cinematography. Fabulous performances by Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan, plus wonderful supporting performances by Tom Hollander and Johnny Lee Miller. Most of all Byzantium’s strength lies in a compelling coming of age story about a 200 year old vampire struggling with the burden of her immortality, and isolation imposed on her by a controlling mother.

Eleanor's story is not unlike many young girls, full of confusion and pain, but most of all yearning. She wants to be known, wants to tell her true story to someone. This desire is born out of the life she is forced to live. An existence woven together with lies and half truths by her mother, Clara. It is a necessity born out of a need to protect their secret, but like any growing you woman, Eleanor rejects the life Clara has made for them. Wanting more.

Of course there is more to this story, shadowy men in suits tracking the pair of nomadic females vampires, and of course there is a boy, who is fighting a losing battle with cancer, but the relationship between Eleanor and Clara that is the axis of this gothic, blood-drenched tale of the indomitable spirit of love. Not romantic love, but the strange, intense, often tumultuous, but never the less powerful bond between a mother and daughter.

If you love vampires, stories about women, and have a "complicated" relationship with your mother, this might just be the movie for you.

*goes to rewatch it for the third time*