Thoughts on The Hunger

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:36 PM By Simon

(may be spoilers)

-Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) is creature from Egyptian times, taking on numerous companions of any gender (I suspect she has seen the third one) to get her through lonely immortality. Her most recent one is John (David Bowie), a cellist she met in the 18th century. The two now live in a swanky New York apartment, posing as a Goth Rock couple to lure leathered-up chumps to their dooms. But when John begins to circle his proverbial drain (see, he is promised every-lasting youth, but really, it's only a couple centuries), Miriam sets her eyes on one Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandan), whom John had tried to meet with in an attempt to cure his sudden ailment.

-I'm reluctant to call this a vampire movie. I don't really consider it that. I mean, yes, they live off blood (the eponymous 'hunger'), and live forever (or at least a long time), and brood something fierce, but I present to you: they do not have fangs. This is why they aren't vampires. Vampires have fangs. Vampires don't rely on tiny knives in Ye Olde pendents that look suspiciously like the cult symbol in Tommy. They kill people any which damn way they feel like. Because they're vampires.

-This a fascinating movie. Not good, maybe not even okay, but it's fascinating, just on the pure watchability of its stars. Catherine Deneuve (which I will probably never spell right twice in a row) exudes sophistication and otherworldly grace, good ol' European style. Susan Sarandan can easily be the adjusted, normal scientist and the mysterious, half-mad conversion. And David Bowie is David Bowie.

-No joke, I thought the lead singer of Bauhaus, Peter Murphy, who shows up in the beginning nightclub scene and opening credits, singing 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' was David Bowie. Their voices are a bit similar when you're not directly comparing them (which I wasn't), the lighting and frequent cuts made me think Tony Scott was being weird and intercutting an old Bowie performance of a song I've never heard before. Then I realised it was stupid, because, y'know, Bowie don't do goth, and while superficially, this Bauhaus guy and Bowie may be kind of similar, there is only one of them that is Bowie, and it is not Bauhaus, and yeah....

-Right. This film's fatal flaw, you ask? Making Catherine Deneuve crawl around on her knees, drinking blood. She's classy, okay?

-Also, putting Bowie in decrepit makeup for a long while. Come on, guys. Know where your audience's at.

-Visually gorgeous, though. Not just the cinematography, the mise-en-scene, every moment set up like an individual photograph. Beautiful.


Fitz said...

I'll have to check this out.

September 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM
Alex said...

This movie sounds so much better than it actually turns out to be. And you're totally right- why the hell would you cast David Bowie in your movie only to put him in icky falling apart old person make-up for most of his scenes? Sigh. I was surprised by how much of Susan Sarandon's boobs we saw, though. Did not see that one coming.

I saw this at a Halloween vampire movie marathon so I guess it does count as a vampire movie. Not quite, though- you do have a point. (lollll get it? POINT? as in FANGS? ahh I crack myself up)

September 21, 2010 at 4:03 PM
SugaryCynic said...

I am shocked that as Bowie fan (more music than film but still) I have never heard of this. It sounds...interesting, but now I feel obligated to check it out

September 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM
Simon said...

Fitz: You will

Alex: HA I GET IT!

Sugary: Any Bowie fan should. Because he's Bowie.

September 21, 2010 at 5:10 PM