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BYZANTIUM – Javier Navarrete

July 1, 2013 1 comment

byzantiumOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Byzantium is director Neil Jordan’s second vampire movie, almost twenty years after he received critical acclaim for his adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire. Byzantium is based on another celebrated source, a stage play of the same name by Moira Buffini, but follows a very different kind of vampire. Set in modern times in the town of Hastings on the English south coast, it stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as Clara and Eleanor, two female vampires eking out an existence of the edges of civilization. Eleanor is sweet, introverted, and kind, only feeding on the elderly after they have given their consent. Clara is more brazen, working as a cheap prostitute in funfairs and lap-dancing clubs to make ends meet. After a fortuitous encounter with a sad-sack named Noel (Daniel Mays) who just happens to own a run-down hotel on the sea front – the Byzantium of the title – Clara tries to turn her hand to business, converting the hotel into a discreet brothel where she can work, and feed, as she needs to. Eleanor, however, despite her introversion, longs for friends, and strikes up a tentative relationship with Frank (Caleb Landry-Jones), a shy waiter recovering from leukemia. However, danger is never far away for Clara and Eleanor, and before long ghosts from their distant past come calling, revealing who they are, how they came to be vampires, and why they are being hunted… Read more…