Posts from 7th July 2009

7
Jul 09

Blood, Another Dhampir

Do You See + FTPost a comment • 347 views

Any live action version of a manga or anime, especially one which aims to appeal to an American audience, has to make concessions. Usually these concessions render the whole thing oddly flat or nonsensical: the film of Dragonball Z (Dragonball: Evolution or was it Salvation?)made no sense and pleased no-one. And here we have Blood: The Last Vampire, at least sporting a colon but with a title that appears not to refer in any way to the film. OK, its true that our heroine does appear to drink blood. Which may make her some sort of vampire. But since the rest of the film seems about destroying demons, and vampirism is never mentioned it seems unclear why her status as a vampire, last or not, is relevant. And she’s not a vampire anyway, as the film makes clear, she is one of the seemingly endless legion of half human, half vampire vampire killers such as Blade or BloodRayne or Vampire Hunter D. What I never understood about these hybrids (aka Dhampirs) is they always seem obsessed with killing vampires, when they seem uniquely positions for success in general society, usually having all the advantages of being a vampire, and none of the downsides. But they are always there with the hunting vampires thru time…

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The Private Parts Of Pippa Lee

FT7 comments • 348 views

There is something strange about an author adapting and directing a film of her own novel. Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee is exactly this thing, and you wonder how long Miller wants to live in the head of her remarkably passive character. Perhaps the novel was written because she couldn’t get the film made. I can certainly see it being a bit of an ask for producers: a film about a woman who has seemingly given all of herself to her family having a bit of a breakdown. Its not quite grand Sirkian melodrama, but even if it were (and it gets close) there isn’t much of a market for said melodrama at the moment. Indeed this is what is often termed as woman’s picture, a small film about the life of a woman who is in a particular rut that is probably still a peculiarly female situation (stay at home, super-organised wife).

So Rebecca writes the novel, and then gets a chance to make the film. But how do you tell the story of how a woman becomes so quite and passive? Well with flashbacks and voice-over of course. I assume the book is strongly first person narrated by Pippa, but what may seem nuanced in a novel often comes off as hackneyed on screen. Maria Bello’s pill poppin’ momma, Julianne Moore’s fetish photographer. Did Miller really adapt the book so she could flesh out Pippa’s husband into an Alan Arkin type, played by Alan Arkin doing a perfect Alan Arkin (including dying!).

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