January 17, 2009

sucked in...

As anyone who knows me knows, I have a thing for (almost) all things vampire. I say (almost) because there are certain interpretations of the lore that leave me cold, such as Buffy and Angel. Thus, with all the Twilight hullabaloo, I tried to keep my distance. I mean, teenage girls everywhere were shrieking and weeping and forming lines at four a.m. at shopping malls in an attempt to score a glimpse of the actors doing their press junket thing. My anti-Twilight sentiment only grew once I read some things about the author around the time Breaking Dawn was released. She is a Mormon, who said she didn't really know much about vampires and didn't really research them before she wrote the books. Ummmm...no. As someone who is very specific about certain aspects of the lore, this was not going to fly. It was much the same as when Harry Potter came out, and I realized it sounded like a total rip-off of a series of books I read growing up.

However, we all know how that Harry Potter thing turned out for me, so I suppose my change of heart regarding Twilight was also inevitable. A friend saw the film, and was telling me about it at work one day. She recommended I see it, she said it was fun in a teenage romance sort of way, and that it was every teen girls dream. It captured that time of life very well. I told her I might check it out when the DVD came out, but not to hold her breath. Then, another friend started reading the book. She passed it along to the friend who saw the film. Their excitement was contagious, and I figured, what the hell? I can't really knock something I haven't tried, so I agreed to read it. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I flew through the book, and while we were in Northern Minnesota over Christmas, I needed the second book immediately. Let me tell you, bookstores are not a staple in remote parts. We finally found a bookstore, and G kindly ran in and picked up New Moon. I polished that off, too, and the hunt was on for Eclipse. After a couple of bookstore stops near home, I procured it, and devoured it. Finally, we were on to the finale. I was hesitant...I mean, the journey would be over. I didn't know if I was ready! I was attached to these characters. However, just as quickly as the others, I obtained my copy and devoured it. Just like any crack fiend...I needed more. I heard there was talk of a new version of Twilight, as told from Edward's perspective. I went to the trusty internets. Sure enough, on Stephenie Meyer's website she talked of this novel, Midnight Sun. Unfortunately, some chump leaked the book on the same internets, and she was in no mood to finish it as a result. However, she said that if the portion of the book that existed were going to be made available, she would rather it be on her terms. So, I then proceeded to devour the available portion of Midnight Sun. I tried to avoid it, I did...but I needed it! I read every deleted scene from the books. Though this seems like it is all coming out very easily, it is not. It is difficult for a woman of a certain age to admit she was caught up in teen fiction. I do want to clarify that these books are by no means high literature. However, they are enjoyable. Stephenie Meyer very accurately captures that time of life, where every option awaits you in the real world and first love hits so hard, you can't fathom anything else could be the same. She also has some interesting takes on the lore. Outside of one thing I still can't wrap my head around logistically, I can get behind it.

I even conceded to seeing the film. I think that, like my previously mentioned friend, I had viewed it prior to reading the books I would have enjoyed it more. It was a mediocre film to begin with. Now, I understand that in adaptations of books, things need to be cut, combined, etc. However, in the case of Twilight , there were things that made absolutely no sense to change. For instance, Bella and her father eating every meal in the diner. Really, she couldn't make him dinner at home, as she did in the book? Really? I wouldn't care so much if it weren't sort of important to establishing Bella as the caretaker in her relationship with her parents. Which is kind of important to the way the other three books play out. Also, the costume designer for the film should not be allowed to work again. Bad, bad, bad. Costume is just as important to film as any other element to establish character, time, emotional state, etc. I think she was a little too focused on how slovenly teens dress at the mall, rather than the actual content of the film. Any tension that existed in the original text was gone. I am optimistic for New Moon, though. I think Chris Weitz is a much stronger director, and assuming Stephenie Meyer stands up for her content a bit more, I think we'll be in business.

G says I am obsessed. I reminded him that I went through The Vampire Chronicles just as quickly, and proceeded to realize that he was totally the pot calling the kettle. I mean, he has an Interview with the Vampire tee, as well as a signed copy of the book. So there.

Speaking of all things vampire, the same weekend I took in Twilight, I also took in a vampire flick of a different ilk, Let the Right One In. Another novel to screen adaptation (though I haven't read the book yet), though rather different. The film is Swedish, taking place just outside of Stockholm in the early 1980s. The film is lovely. The children in the lead roles are pretty fantastic, due in part to the content they were given. I appreciate how foreign films tend to treat kids more realistically, acknowledging that they are people who have the same feelings as adults, but are learning about themselves and trying to deal with the situations they are in with what experience they have, and that is a very difficult thing. This film has a more traditional approach to the mythology surrounding vampires and deals with it effectively. Some of the effects are a little jarring due to their quality in comparison to the utter realism of the film. However, I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading the book very much (c'mon Proptart...hurry up!).

I am also looking forward to Underworld: Rise of the Lycans very much. Whilst I am much more of a vampire girl than a shapeshifter/lycan one...I loved the Underworld films thus far. Plus, this one appears to be chock full of Bill Nighy in delicious form. I will be out at midnight for that one fo sho.

In a similar vein, thanks to the Headmistress over at Gothic Charm School, I have discovered yet another favorite blog, Haute Macabre. I love to peruse all of their new finds each day, and drool and bookmark and make wish lists. Some favorites from the site so far would be Coffin Couches, a site that sells sofas made from recycled coffins (WANT!!!) and this Squirrel Heart Pendant which I would shriek like a little schoolgirl should I receive it for Valentine's Day. IJS.

BTW, to see how ridiculously into this whole Twilight thing I really am...check out my Flickr pool in the lower right corner. Team Edward, baby!!!

Posted by raven at January 17, 2009 12:37 PM
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