Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Inspired by a mind transfixed by philosophical gibberish and vampire fetish has produced this weird monochrome tedium. Walked as ever acts well, I would struggle to recommend the rest of the film.
It's a cool little indie flick that one again uses Vampirism as symbolism for addiction. It's the kind pretentious little film that you expect to show at a smokey jazz club with a bongo playing in the background while you drone on psuedo-intellectually about philosophy. That said, there are some cool ideas and visuals working in it, and it raises some interesting points of discussion.
Heidegger + vampiri + lesbiche = moda
An artsy vampire movie shot in black & white. The black & white definitely exemplifies the artsy feel of it. It's not your typical vampire movie. It looks at vampirism from first bite to maturation and in a philosophical manner. The ending had a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting.
In the 90s gothic scene this is what the movies were alike. Pretentious and oh so deep. Propably in my teens I would have liked this being part of the scene myself, but to me standing here now, older and hopefully wiser, this movie does not work. I see many things that must have been inspirational to or inspired by the Vampire: Masquerade RPG, but other than for the historical curiosity, this movie is not worth it. Vampires, philosophy, victim blaming and racial stereotypes. I am so happy that I'm not a teen anymore and that these times are gone.
Amongst the most poignant of vampire films ever made, avoiding the shallowness of vampire cultism, treading a new sea of ideas to reintroduce the basic mythos of vampirism not as a condition of survival, but one of addiction. Ferrera takes this point further by associating addiction with genocide, repeatedly showing images of historical horrors like Vietnam and the Holocaust. This takes us into a grand third act orgy of feasting vampires, all of Kathleen's victims gathered to feed the need she conditioned them with. It's a glorious sight, but slowly devolves into Kathleeen overdosing. The end of the film perhaps rushes religious symbolism that is otherwise established through moral preaching by her philosophy professor.
Music and image blend beautifully, great indy-style black and white photography, unique camera setups. Kathleen beside her victim in the mirror. The handheld overhead of her transition into vampirism.
Tremendous performances all around, dealing out preachy, philosophical dialogue naturally. Christopher Walken is brief, but also at his best. Lili Taylor is sensational, her breakdowns are provocative, especially in the third act before the party after the Catholic has resisted her. She goes from a hand-me-down clothed student to a seductress, and her looks aren't heavily altered at all, she is wearing a different guise.
Some classic mythos are preserved, she wont look into mirrors and keeps them covered. She's affected by sunlight. But there's also new ways of looking at her condition - her first few victims are by needle, not bite, provoking an image eerily similar to heroin addicts.
Abel Ferrara's vampire odyssey has more on its mind than most horror films. It has a theoretical approach that may not make the film great, but makes it intelligent, distinctive, and definitely strange.
cinegeek.de Our Daily Free Stream: Abel Ferrara - The Addiction. Gruselig, witzig und herrlich lächerlich! Das hier ist bestimmt das prätentiöseste B-Movie überhaupt! Das mit philosophischen Zitaten angereicherte Skript über einen rasenden Greenvich Village Vampir schämt sich nicht, Verweise zum Vietnam Krieg oder den Nazi Camps zu ziehen, bevor der Film seiner Heldin die Absolution erteilt. Das alles wird aber mit so grosser Schönheit und so viel Kraft von Abel Ferrara inszeniert, dass es am Ende an uns hängt: Können wir mit diesem wundervollen Quatsch umgehen oder nicht? Die Philosophie-Studentin Kathleen (Lili Taylor) wird auf dem Weg nach Hause von einer Vampirin angefallen und gebissen. Sie klagt über rasende Schmerzen, kann sich nicht mehr orientieren und verspürt einen unstillbaren Durst nach Blut. Blutdurst geht bei ihr einher mit sexueller Erregung. In diesem Zustand begnet ihr noch ein Vampir: Der intellektuelle Peina (Christopher Walken) lehrt sie, wie sie ihren Durst kontrollieren kann. Abel Ferrara zeigt sich hier wieder als zweifelnder Katholik und offenbart noch eine andere Seite von sich selbst: Seine Drogensucht. Er kennt die Obsession, die Selbstzerstörung und Todessucht. Metaphysik und Delirium, basierend auf dem Skript von Nicholas St. John. Ferrara erklärte, dass St. John in Heidelberg studierte und manchmal meint man, dass es wohl nur drei Semester gewesen sein mögen und einige der Uni Abschriften versehentlich in den Film gelangt sind. Ferrara jedenfalls hat sich dieser furchtbaren Vorlage mit so viel Poesie und ehrlicher Überzeugung angenommen, dass es gar nicht mehr ins Gewicht fällt. (Dazu gibts unsere Film List mit postmodernen Vampirfilmen auf unserer Empfehlungsseite cinegeek.de
There are a lot of critics who disliked this movie for the exact wrong reason. (i.e. it was too artsy). I thought it was refreshing in its ambition. It was deep and daring. I like how it combined the vampire genre with the drug movie and seamlessly incorporated a strong strain of avant-garde. Excellent film.
Abel Ferrara's attempt at the vampire genre is blended with a surprisingly effective mix of visceral horror and philosophical meditation of humanity. Ken Kelsch's black and white cinematography is ideally-suited to what Ferrara is exploring. And the movie offers Lili Taylor, Annabella Sciorra, Christopher Walken and a very young Edie Falco with great opportunities as the skilled actors they are.
Lili Taylor plays a profoundly dedicated and serious NYU Philosophy Major philosophy who makes the tragic mistake of running into Annabella Sciorra's character one night on a dark Manhattan street. This strange woman seems to have some erotic interest for the student. When the woman tells Taylor's "Kathleen" to simply tell her to go away -- Kathleen, who is clearly frightened but more than a little intrigued is unable to follow her victimizer's advice. The woman attacks her. This attack is clearly done with the clumsy and messy attack of a blood-hungry vampire.
Thus Abel Ferrara pulls us into his odd, unsettling and controversial Vampire Movie. Kathleen begins to turn into what we can only determine is a vampire. Repulsive acts of horror begin and culminate to an orchestrated "event" in which academics and fellow students gather together to celebrate a graduation which quickly becomes an orgiastic vampire's delight. It isn't so much that the violence is particularly any more graphic than what one would expect, but via the careful manipulation of post-production sound and editing -- it all takes on a disturbing turn toward gore.
This is not a traditional "horror film" by any standard. The vampire attacks are animalistic, cold and methodical. There are very few "boo" moments -- if any. The film's true concern is the way in which Kathleen (and maybe Ferrara) apply philosophy, history and intellectualism upon which she applies/projects her ideas of "victims." These ideas are grounded in a skewed sort of logic that offers Ferrara's provocative movie an "out." One could state that Ferrara is offering his own screwed-up ideologies or one could easily point to Kathleen's insanely animal-like urge for blood and torture.
Wether or not Ferrara's vampires are immortal is never fully discussed. But we know that they are essentially "dead" as they began to prey upon victims. It is actually more of moral and ethical degradation to vampirism than a traditional "rebirth" to immortality. For these vampires blood is less a desire or requirement than it is an addiction. Could these monsters stop preying on human blood if they tried? Or is the fix more desirable than rehabilitation. This question is addressed when Christopher Walken's character enters Kathleen's world. He claims that he has managed to give up the addiction of blood lust and cruelty. He abstains and claims that he is almost once again human. He attempts to persuade Kathleen to let him help her overcome her addiction. It is a wasted effort.
Despite the horrific challenges and changes to which her attack leads, Lily Taylor's character somehow manages to continue her studies. She is studying the catastrophic tragedy of The Holocaust. As she "de-evolves" to a blood addict, she begins to see the cruelty of human history as a tool to explain away her own guilt. Like the other vampires we see and "meet" -- Kathleen begins to blame her victims rather herself. She seems to reject that idea that there seemed to be some spell or aura about her attacker. Also due to the way in which Ferrara films it, it may not have been a spell or aura at all. It might have been Kathleen's latent homosexual desire that prevented her from ordering her vampire to leave.
These "humans" are simply too weak to resist the urge to be victimized. In one key scene Kathleen stands over a human victim who is in torment, pain and fear. In a bit of brilliant acting, Taylor's Kathleen re-asses her vile attack and with the air of a superior intellect. In Kathleen's now vampire mind, it is not the cruelty she is inflicting on a human that is of intellectual interest. It is the shock and terrified response of the victim that needs further study.
Just before Kathleen and her fellow vampires turn a human celebration into an act of unbridled carnage and horror, she teasingly informs her "friends" and "professors" that she would like to share a bit of what she has learned. And with that the orgy of violence begins.
The closing line of this incredibly disturbing film is:
"Self revelation is annihilation of self."
At the end of the day, Able Ferrara's "The Addiction" forms a disturbing sort of nihilistic viewpoint of human history. This viewpoint is clearly an act of provocation. Ferrara is far too smart to not understand the implications and deeply problematic ideas that spring forth from this perverse ideology.
I'd not want to know a person who isn't offended by aspects of this film, but I would be equally bored by an individual who would just casually dismiss the film itself. This is a masterfully crafted and intended provocation. The intent is not clear, but the viewer is left to think about what has been shown. It is "The Addiction's" intentional vibe that haunts and worries long after the film has ended.
A must-see, but not for children or for the squeamish.