Interview with a Vampire
BERLIN, Germany — The unusually mild winter here in Berlin (45 degrees and sunny) has been downright balmy compared with New York’s frozen February. But onscreen at the Berlinale Palast, Hans Petter Moland’s hilariously dark competition entry, In Order of Disappearance, has been representing Scandinavia’s arctic blasts with aplomb. Chock full of one cold-hearted murder after another (wryly and meticulously marked by tombstone-like graphic cards throughout the film), this ridiculously entertaining Nordic noir follows the vengeful exploits of mourning blue-collar father Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) as he tracks down the string of drug dealers responsible for his son’s death.
“So, what’s it like living on abandoned island with your vampire family?” The Observer asked 22-year-old Bill Skarsgård, star of the new Netflix original series Hemlock Grove. (Out today! Consume it!) We were at No. 8, where the lanky Mr. Skarsgård was partying with his co-star, Landon Liboiron, and the show’s co-creator, Brian McGreevy, who also wrote the book on which the series is based.
Mr. Skarsgård looked slightly offended. “We don’t live on an island,” he said.
In the blood-soaked hands of the hair-raising, always surprising director David Fincher, the creepy remake of Sweden’s grisly thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is dreary and confusing but technically superb—a darkly photographed and superbly acted film. It is not my cup of bitter tea laced with arsenic, but I admire its tenacity in keeping the viewer dazzled, while the toxic effect of its violence, sometimes unwatchable, left me charged. I hated the 2009 Swedish film version, my dashed attempt to read the book (the first volume in the crime trilogy by the late, overrated Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson) put me to sleep faster than a double-dose of Dalmane, and I still don’t understand why it has been recycled in an estimated $100 million remake as unnecessary as it is unoriginal. It is also impossibly long-winded. When it ended, after just under a whopping three hours, I ended up impressed, in spite of my reservations. If I had found it even half as incomprehensible as it is, I might have liked it twice as much.
Oh, my god, that plot.
RUNNING TIME 108 minutes
WRITTEN BY Catherine Johnson
DIRECTED BY Phyllida Lloyd
STARRING Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters
Amid the summer junk-movies that are already going down in history as artifacts, some folks will welcome, I Read More
Éric Rohmer’s Autumn Tale is probably the best relief for our summer of moviegoing discontents, but it strikes me that I am not doing full justice to Mr. Rohmer’s achievement if I hail it for what it is not: gross, stupid, vulgar, sleazy, pornographically violent and childishly obscene. Autumn Tale , the final installment in Read More
Peter Weir’s The Truman Show , from a screenplay by Andrew Niccol, asks us to imagine a 30-year-long, 24-hour-a-day television show set in an idyllic small town called Seahaven and featuring a real-life unsuspecting performer named Truman Burbank, incarnated with an almost Capraesque innocence by Jim Carrey. From his first moments on earth as a Read More