25
Oct 04

FT TOP 100 FILMS 15: QUEEN OF THE DAMNED

Do You See1 comment • 1,650 views

Centred as it is on Stuart Townshend’s performance – a badness of judgment and execution that enters Bowie-esque ahem “cracked actor” territory!* – I forget that my rabid partisan support for and devotion to this film is NOT standard-issue mark s perversity, playful contrarianism 101, or even a poky joke… and only remember this when I see it again. “See” being the operative word: yes yes at script level there’s the studious (but somewhat v.inelegant) redux of Anne Rice’s Classwar Among Bloodsuckahs mythos… but of course films are NOT in fact just abt their synopses or their (non)snappy dialogue**. The classwar story is way better told – far more seductive, complex and alert – at the level of QotD’s ART DIRECTION: which embodies the three-way struggle between types of class predator, the feudal tyrant (akasha), the quasi-aristocratic early bourgeois “nobleman” (marius) and the quasi-prole late bourgeois sleb (lestat). Since i cd write 300000 words abt this movie easy i will limit myself here to a highlighter-pen slash across just three U&K scenes.

SCENE ONE: a mediterranean island, where an ANCIENT VAMPIRE paints portraits of himself in the idiom of the day, Rolf on Art-stylee. First we see Lestat spragged out on a bed like pore dead Chatterton. Then we encounter a duelling-gypsy-violins-on-a-beach scene, followed by a FUNERAL PYRE backed by EXCITING ROCK FORMATIONS: viz the invocation of Coleridge and demon-violinist Paganini and Byron seeing off Shelley, and pioneer Goth John Ruskin!!

SCENE TWO: Lestat’s Hollywood apartment is MADE OF post-60s ART bcz he is addicted to the demolition, via insatiable mass commodification, of TASTE, TASTEFUL RESTRAINT, SELF-INTERESTED REFINEMENT, and the conserving conservative power of history-based orderly provenance or (what w.benjamin called) AURA. When Marius arrives to confront him, they discuss Elvis while waving around a copy of Rolling Stone (ad for his nu-metal band Lestat the Vampire on the back cover: “LIVE AND UNDEAD”), then cut to L&M sat at crutch-level of a GIGANTIC PHOTO-REALIST BILLBOARD of nu-metal band Lestat the Vampire overlooking (I think) Hollywood Boulevard.

SCENE THREE: Lovely dead Aaliyah as EMPRESS AKASHA slinky-winding through a Goth Klub in London’s um “meat-packing district”, elder-being lust for the immolation of the entire human race held sexily in check FOR NOW in the weird egyptian-lizardly grace of her dance motion. She DOESN’T MIND WHO SHE MURDERS, it’s all just fun to her: the implied closure of the movie will be a limitless apocalyptic end-time orgy of pure energy-release pleasure NOW

*I will happily “prove” this badness is i. intentional (on the part of the director not the actor), and ii. within the “concept” and part of the cleverness of the film (cf the way SMG’s woodenness improves buffy… )
**”Vampires don’t SETTLE old scores, they HARBOUR them” = gobsmacker of a clumsily incomprehensible statement of (useful non-existent word alert) portentiousness…

[ok pete over to you]

Comments

  1. 1
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 29 Aug 2006 #

    iv. the show-in-the-desert = prescient cult-theoretickal critique hencehithertoforth benownst as UNDEAD8 (dys)

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page