Thursday, 1 January 2009

Apparently I'm not a 14-year-old girl

Is it just me or are vampires everywhere I look these days? In the last fortnight I've been exposed to the bizarre cult world of Twilight and all I can say after seeing the film and reading all the books True Blood. It's better. In fact, for its lush production, seventeen layers of subtext, ability to make you truly think (and its tendency to wander over into soft porn on occasion), I have dubbed True Blood the anti-Twilight.

And if you are stuck somewhere between self-absorbed teenage emo and adulthood remember the adage that almost always applies in these situations: BDID (Buffy Did It Better).


L said...

Apparently I am a 14-year-old girl, well, at least at heart. Because I really like Twilight. First let me say that I've only seen the movie and read the first 2 books so I may have a slightly skewed view...but:
1. Twilight (the movie) didn't need overly lush production, the scenery was evocative enough, particularly as this is supposed to take place where it was actually filmed (give or take 15 miles).
2. Subtext? How much subtext should a story aimed at teenagers have? How about a nightmare being: unable to progress past a particular point in your life (high school and college)because you look seventeen, keeping yourself separate from your current "peers" at high school because you have a big scary secret. So not only do you have your very existence as a monster to deal with, you are also an outcast in most teenagers’ idea of purgatory - high school. And then the fact that you can't do much more than kiss the one you've waited a hundred years for (but didn't know it)

3. Buffy Did It Better:
Old geezer Vampire (Angel) meets and falls in love with Teenage girl (Buffy) in a nightclub (usually reserved for those who have reach adulthood), he doesn't have a soul, will turn evil and get killed by Buffy if they have sex.
Buffy: Her vampire mopes and...mopes. And her second vampire mopes, goes crazy and she allows herself to be sexually degraded in an eerie echo of a Days of Our Lives plot-line: (down at the bottom)
Not so old vampire falls in love with 17-year-old girl who goes to his high school.
Bella: Her vampire is scared of having sex/or something close in case he EATS her, he gets angry, tests his limits, writes some music, tries to engage in "normal" activities including PROM, has hobbies, doesn't live in a dark cemetery and is sensible enough to accumulate wealth, and drives a Volvo - which just between you and me goes against the bad-boy appeal.

Right, in summing up Angel won't have sex with Buffy because then she'll have to kill him, but it won't hurt while they do it because Buffy has super-powers. Whereas-
Edward wont have sex with Bella because he could kill her any number of ways, Eat, Crush, break etc etc, so he's scared for her, not himself. (Okay I admit that Angel might be a little scared for Buffy, but a broken heart mends - if you don't follow Twilight canon).

Talking of bad-boy appeal (I just did) harking back to the high school thing, what makes Twilight so addictive to my inner-17-year-old-self is that he's the gorgeous loner (and if you identify with Bella you're an average slightly neurotic loner girl) imagine that he checks you out and then talks to you, and then he tells you the BIGGEST secret ever, and then tells you that you're tasty to him in every respect. So there's danger: he could eat you, but it's tempered with SAFETY: he can't do much more than hold your hand because he might eat you. Plus he's an older guy who can sneak into your room without your dad knowing...illicit excitement. Oh, plus he's rich and writes you music.

So talking of older guys and Buffy, Angel was a lot older (in both life and undead) and Buffy was younger than Edward and Bella, so that's a little bit better on the icky older guy scenario.

Talking of Edward, at least he has hobbies; he's used his time to collect, write, read and generally stay human. That makes. him nice. And it doesn't hurt that Robert Pattinson is quite pretty.

Back to subtext: Interesting that the movie version of Edward has more evidence of him being a "grown-up" in all (well most) senses of the word, he has visible body hair (Disney would not allow that), such as chest fur and a permanent 5 o'clock shadow. This may just be a makeup/costuming mistake but if a studio tells you to wax your chest, you do it. Although the studio obviously didn't want Edward to be too masculine, Rob Pattinson has some significant...hormonal hair (aka treasure trail) going on his stomach, and Industrial Light and Magic seem to have magicked that away for the sparkly-in-the-sunshine bit. Then again they may have just been hiding the fact that Edward is the only vampire in the movie not to have a six-pack. (How many sensitive muso teenage boys do/did you know with a six-pack?).

So I like Twilight, I think its interesting and sexy and is a good example of why authors use cliffhangers.

14-17 and beyond I love it.

genfie said...

I guess this is a case where posting an initial opinion to kill time while waiting for a plane on New Year's Day (bubbly in hand) is maybe not comprehensive enough an analysis.

Point made, I will try to better express the problems I have with Twilight and will post a more comprehensive review soon.

Happy New Year and thank you for posting.