Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Tony Scott RIP

Film director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott, has died. I've seen many of the movies he directed, the most recent one being Unstoppable (see my post about it), but I thought I'd mention his first one ... The Hunger, a 1983 movie about vampires based on a novel by Whitley Strieber.

Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) is a beautiful and dangerous immortal vampire, promising specially chosen humans eternal life as her vampire lovers. As the film begins, her vampire companion is John (David Bowie), a talented cellist she married in 18th century France. The films opens in a night club in New York to a live performance from Bauhaus. They live together in an elegant New York townhouse posing as a wealthy couple who teach classical music.

Periodically killing and feeding upon human victims allows Miriam and John to possess eternal youth—or at least that is what John was led to believe. John begins aging rapidly; he realizes that Miriam knew that this would happen and that her promise of "forever and ever" was only partially true. He will have eternal life but not eternal youth. Feeling betrayed, he seeks out the help of Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who specializes in the study of premature aging, hoping she will be able to help reverse his accelerating decrepitude. Sarah assumes that John is a hypochondriac or mentally unbalanced and ignores his pleas for help. As John leaves the clinic in a rage, Sarah is horrified to see how rapidly John is aging. She tries to help, at which point John rebuffs her ...

I saw this on tv years ago but don't remember much of it. The storyline sounds like it has such possibilities - maybe the novel is good? - but the film received a really bad review from Roger Ebert ...

"The Hunger" is an agonizingly bad vampire movie, circling around an exquisitely effective sex scene. Sorry, but that's the way it is, and your reporter has to be honest. The seduction scene involves Catherine Deneuve, as an age-old vampire, and Susan Sarandon, as her latest victim. There was a great deal of controversy while the movie was being made (all sorts of rumors about closed sets, etc.), but the scene as it now appears isn't raunchy or too explicit -- just sort of dreamily erotic. I mention the scene so prominently because it's one of the few scenes that really work in "The Hunger," a movie that has been so ruthlessly overproduced that it's all flash and style and no story ....

Here's the trailer, and I must admit it does seem eminently skippable ...

BTW, I did see another movie adapted from a Whitley Strieber book, Wolfen, and I posted about it here. Someday I'll have to check out Communion, a movie in which Christopher Walken portrays Strieber.

But anyway... very sad about Tony Scott. Rest in peace, Tony.


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