22 January 2012

Movies: Vampires

Vampires (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1500906/

Faux-documentary style comedy
Foreign film (Belgium), French language (English subtitles)

Been on the fence about writing about this film. I guess I'm off the fence now, but I reserve the right to jump over the fence at any moment.

A film crew is invited by a Belgian vampire community to document their life. It didn't go too well for the first two film crews, but the third crew was able to get the work done unscathed. The third crew follows the St. Germain family. Bertha and George are the mother/father of the family, Samson is the worthless son and Grace, the daughter, is tired of being undead and dreams of being human.  Another vampire couple lives in their basement.
Through the documentary we get glimpses into how the vampire community is structured, how they integrate into modern society, differences between how different governments (Belgium, Canada) coordinate with the undead population, and the family's navigation of all that external stuff while their internal family battles unfold.

Shot in the cinema verite style.* The comedy comes from multiple directions, not only in the actions of the actors but also in how the different communities operate, how different governments deal with those populations, how the characters react to situations, etc.  Probably commentary on society as well, some of which is lost on us Americans ignorant of how other governments work.

Seems like is was probably shot in sequence, and seems like it probably didn't have a fully developed script at the start. Some of the characters began rather over the top before calming down as the film progressed, almost like they weren't sure how "off" to play themselves. I almost quit watching the film early on because of the scenery chewing, but after giving a little extra time they settled down and it wasn't so bad and got funnier as it went along.

Amusing and not too bad, but probably slow for most viewers.  Not a must see film. Not a terrible choice if you've got tons of time on your hands, have a curiosity about foreign films and their takes on vampires and have nothing better to do.

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* The look of the film sort of reminded me of how "An American Family" was shot.  Although "An American Family" was actually a more compelling watch because it was a groundbreaking real cinema verite documentary, which in turn made the film "Cinema Verite" a compelling watch because it's a film about the making of "An American Family" and the cast nails the performances.
Wow that got all meta all of a sudden. And a topic wasted in association with this film "Vampires".

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