A Taste of Byzantium

Wow, after seeing just one brief — but evocative — clip, I’m totally sold on Byzantium, a vampire tale I’ve never previously heard a word about. It’s directed by Neil Jordan, who last visited the genre with the film adaptation Interview With the Vampire.

This movie stars the haunting beauty Saoirse Ronan (late of Hannah; featured in the clip) and the va-va-voom Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) as vampires. Check out this clip, and notice how creepy it is, even though it takes place in full daylight. The atmospheric music helps (but I think the Romany-sounding violin cue is out of place).

Watching that scene, for some strange reason I really felt a sense of time and place. The quality of the lighting really hit me; it felt like the scene was shot in October, maybe an hour before sunset, with a slight chilly breeze badgering the actors. Well done, Neil! I’m hoping for a worthy follow-up to the Swedish sleeper, Let The Right One In.

Here’s the studio synopsis:

Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara meets lonely Noel, who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor befriends Frank and tells him their lethal secret. They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence.

Byzantium doesn’t yet have a US release date, but it is debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, so perhaps it will have a distributor by the end of the week.


Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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