Saturday, October 25, 2003

Last night TCM had a number of good movies on and I watched three of them. Portrait of Jennie, The Haunting(1963), and Vampyr.

Portrait of Jennie was very sweet and had great dream-logic for it's supernatural stuff--the kind of logic that feels like it makes the right sense, even if it doesn't technically add up. The most tantilising kind of logic, really. And perfect for a romance movie.

The Haunting was damned good. I haven't read the Shirley Jackson book it's based on, but the movie's tight point of view from the character of Eleanor put me in the mind of We Have Always Lived in the Castle--a Shirley Jackson book I have read. The strength of both pieces is the narrative of a character who we know is going a sort of crazy and yet it's somehow the sort of crazy that pulls us right along. When Eleanor says fearfully of the noises outside the door, "It knows my name!" we know precisely what she means, and how she's afraid of it, even as we detect the madness in her voice. We recognise that madness in the same way we'd recognise madness in ourselves. It's that kind of intimacy.

Vampyr was very good, and obviously influencial. I see now where Francis Ford Coppella got the idea for the independant shadow he gave to Dracula in his film. My only complaint about Vampyr is that I found the music a little distracting for some reason. Otherwise, the movie has a great mood, and I actually aplaud the directors preference for not using professional actors.

I did end up staying in all day yesterday, and I suspect I shall do the same to-day . . .

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