greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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Pictures That Move, and Pictures That Have Ceased Moving

I awoke this ayem, sometime before dawn, to my first real New England snow. When I woke again, about an hour ago, it was still snowing. It's still snowing now. The world is white, and all the sharp edges are smoothed away. There is no carnivorous blue sky. There is, rather, a comforting lack of distinction between earth and sky. The rooftops are covered, and the trees, and the lawns. White.

The only really important thing about yesterday is that we finally got to see Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in (2008). And wow. A reviewer in one of our local papers wrote, "Who would have predicted that the finest horror picture in years, reminiscent of Val Lewton classics of 1940s Hollywood, would come from Sweden." Well, I might have. Sweden is sort of creepy when you think about it, all those fjords and ABBA and 7th-Century standing stones and what have you. Bang on with the Val Lewton comparison, though. One of the most striking things about this film, which is filled with striking elements, is it's voice. It is so wonderfully soft-spoken. It is a long whisper, punctuated with screams that have meaning because of the whisper. In short, it lived up to my expectation, and I was very pleased with the unexpected gender issues raised in the film. Lina Leandersson, who plays the vampire child, Eli, is especially effective, in her gentle childhood vulnerability and her oddly ancient moments and those scenes where she slips into a feral frenzy. I am pleased with the film's restraint, and by its refusal to submit to either formula or easy morality. And it's just so beautiful. I keep coming back —— in my head, and also when Spooky and I talk about Låt den rätte komma in —— to it's snowy landscapes, its black nights, the smothering cold, and the silence. It's easy to think of many instances when the silence is shattered, but those instances only seem to underscore the totality of the silence, the stillness, the winter that may as well be unending. And, of course, this story permits the vampire to be a vampire. Not a watered-down daemon lover that sparkles by daylight, not necrophilia dressed up as bloodless romance for necrophiles who would rather not admit what gets them hot and bothered (though, it should also be noted that, if Eli is to be believed, she's not actually dead). There is innocence here, and profound corruption. In the end, what Eli truly is remains, at least in part, a secret, one that the film wisely leaves us to sort out for ourselves. Yes, I loved it. I encourage you to see it in the theatre if you can, and, if not, track down the DVD as soon as it's available. Definitely one of the four or five best films I've seen this year. I'm posting the trailer again:

Otherwise, yesterday was just me resting, wishing this part of the semi-vacation did not have to end next week. There was warmed-over chili for dinner (after the movie). I read, first "The aquatic sloth Thalassocnus (Mammalia, Xenarthra) from the Late Miocene of North-Central Chile: biogeographic and ecological implications," and then went back to the long-neglected Victorians and the Prehistoric: Tracks to a Lost World. Late, we read more of The Fellowship of the Ring. Well, Spooky read aloud to me and Hubero. There were pomegranate martinis. We played WoW for two or three hours, and Shaharrazad and Suraa (my blood elf warlock and Spooky's blood elf paladin, respectively) both reached Level 36. I think that if we are to continue playing WoW, we'll be concentrating on our Horde characters and letting the Alliance ones go. The Alliance was sort of icking us both out, anyway. I'll only play Shaharrazad and my blood elf paladin, Hanifah (who happens to be Shaharrazad's kid sister). And that was yesterday, for the most part. It was bitterly cold when we went out last night, the coldest night I've felt since the trip to Manhattan in November.

The snow has stopped, I think. At least for now.

Behind the cut are two screencaps from WoW, because I've never posted screencaps from WoW:

Suraa (left) and Shaharrazad (right), in the Arathi Highlands, just south of Hammerfall, the orc garrison where they've been posted for the last couple of weeks. We were on our way to assault the Stormgarde Keep, trying to assassinate an ogre, and also a warlock working with the Syndicate.

Same as the above, but Shah's felsteed is being unruly.

Tags: downtime, gaming, movies, paleo, reading, snow, terror, tolkien, winter

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