Crosses, Stakes and Puns

The SaintJan 17th, 2011Posted by The Saint on

Last night I finished watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer. To put it bluntly, this show is in my top 5 list of TV shows.

This show completely deserves the praise and recognition is has. Some people still brush off this show. Twilight isn’t helping the situation either. I know the concept of a teenage girl that world’s best hope for saving the world from evil seems cheesy. Joss Whedon is able to produce a show that can pull in a wide audience by not being a serious drama and having a “monster of the week” formula in the onset. But, then it does things that catch you off guard and surprise you. I say this both as plot points and cinematic presentation. Buffy is able to have episodes that are musicals, dream sequences and have no talking for 30 minutes without feeling out of place. Before starting Buffy, I was already sold on Whedon, but this is his master piece.

I haven’t talked about it much, but the reason I started watching Buffy was because of Evan. Through the course of that year we had been watching The Wire and Dollhouse and talking intently about both. At one point he said I would be better off if I started watching Buffy instead of Dollhouse, as it was better. The week after I tried to watch another episode of The Wire, it was too much. I needed to do something that was lighter, but still meant something. Buffy The Vampire Slayer was that thing. It is another thing to add to the list of things he introduced me to and I am grateful of.

The Plague and The Sun

The SaintJan 17th, 2011Posted by The Saint on
1001 Movies

For no particular reason, I didn’t make this post earlier. But, now it will have a second part.

Nosferatu the Vampyre
A remake of the original Nosferatu by Werner Herzog. The remake was very faithful to the original. A number of the scene could have easily been shot for shot remakes of the source material. The beginning of the film is very unsettling and kind of hard to watch. I say this from a film perspective, not from a horror perspective (I will expand on this later). However, once Jonathan makes it to Transylvania and meets Dracula things get much better, becoming creepy and unsettling from a horror perspective. Klaus Kinski joins Herzog again (Aguirre: The Wrath of God) to play Dracula and does a great job of it. These two work together very well to produce characters that draw you in and see something that is out there.

After finishing the film, as I do with all the movies on the list, I went to Wikipedia to read up on the film. This lets me learn fun facts about the production and read some input on why the film was added to the list. The fact I learned this time directly related to why the start of the film felt very stiff and uneasy.

At the request of distributor 20th Century Fox, Herzog produced two versions of the movie simultaneously, to appeal to western audiences. Scenes with dialogue were filmed twice, in German and in English, meaning that the actor’s own voices (as opposed to dubbed dialogue by voice actors) could be included in the English version of the film. However, many consider the performances in the German language version to be superior, as Kinski and Ganz could act more confidently in their native language.

The beginning of the film contained most of the dialogue and felt poorly acted. However, coinciding with the arrival of Dracula, the dialogue becomes a second player to the visuals and the acting improves.