Friday, February 14, 2014

the deep of winter, blood films.

Stoker

stoker.

Byzantium

byzantium

Kiss of The Damned

kiss of the damned

Jug Face

jug face 

often times in the ice laden and melancholic depths of winter, i find comfort in crawling into my cocoon bed and escaping any way possible after work, via books or film. i love stories, whether printed or visual. the above 4  films are some of my current favorites. two of them are (guilty pleasure, though in terms of monsters, zombies will always win my heart) vampire films, but all seem to share that tumultuous dance on the fault line of right and wrong from the female pov, a kind of acceptance of fate and a coming of age. all four films share a focus on cinematic beauty juxtaposed with elements of the strange; a calculated eye is always employed, whether in the way a scene is composed, the way blood flows or how the female leads are fashioned.

stoker is one of those movies i find myself replaying at night before i go to sleep ( i have also done this with brothers quay and fight club) there is something about a quiet, darkly told tale that feels like a lullaby to me. this film is so beautifully shot, the carefully staged scenes and moments almost eclipse the tale at the heart of the film. it is well written and subtly poisonous, but this almost doesn't seem to matter. mia wasikowska has quickly become a favorite actress, and here, for me, she is like stepping into the sea. dangerous & quietly smooth.

we watched byzantium before the holidays and there were scenes that really snared me, specifically the moment when one is 'turned.' i don't want to give too much away but at the heart of this film, as in many vamp movies, the grappling with morality and guilt makes a bit of an existential mess. the twist here is that females are not "allowed" by some unseen group of male vampires to exist and are hunted down. again, this film has moments of startling beauty and is led by two great female leads.

kiss of the damned is another film we were able to catch pre-holiday season and though it felt a bit more shallow than the others, the costuming & strange beauty of the actors was worth the somewhat lacking narrative.

i am a real sucker for southern tales. i have these oddly romantic notions of the south, back woods living and spanish moss make my blood quicken when used as a literary or cinematic device. for me, a southern location is almost a character unto itself. jug face is an odd tale that explores the mythology of a small group of people who are governed by a supernatural, murderous 'pit' that exudes a potent power over the inhabitants. the narrative of this film felt stronger to me than the others and I almost wished it was a novel rather than a film.

what have you been watching lately ?


6 comments:

dianne tanner // icefloe said...

LOVED Stoker so much more than I expected to. What a film!

Jantine Zandbergen said...

If you like Mia and vampire movies: have you seen 'Only Lovers Left Alive' yet? Such a beautiful film!

in dreams said...

byzantium is amazing!! i had the chance to see it back in the fall, in the super-gorgeous 1930s movie theatre here in ottawa, and the setting made it that much more special for me. i keep trying to tell people how great it is, but it's always a hard sell once you mention vampires these days. ah, well.

i will have to check out jug face…that sounds very much like my kind of movie! (i hope it's on netflix…)

bloodmilk. said...

Jantine:

Yes we just watched it this weekend. It was incredible. <3 Tilda <3

mOdpOd said...

These are all amazing: Ostrov (aka The Island) about a Russian monk with mystical powers. Die Wand (The Wall) Austrian supernatural film. The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr (his last film) based on a story from Nietzche's life.

Penelope Black said...

Also, Let The Right One In, & the American version (which is at least as good as the original), Let Me In.