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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.


( 12 comments — Have your say! )
Dec. 7th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
So glad to see you got actual horses for the blood elves. On my first blood elf I wasn't clever enough to gain enough rep with any of the other factions, so I got stuck with the psychedelic feather duster mount.
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)

We lucked out. Paladins and Warlocks get them by default. So glad I don't have to ride around on a rainbow chicken ;)
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
They do? I didn't even know that. LOL. But I never got very far with Paladins and Warlocks anyway. I have a 'lock in her teens, I'm sure she'll get there someday. But I'm too adapted to playing Rogues mainly.
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
and I was very pleased with the unexpected gender issues raised in the film.

Yes. (And how few reviewers, I found afterward, seem to have noticed any of them . . .)

It's snowing here, too.
Dec. 7th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)

Yes. (And how few reviewers, I found afterward, seem to have noticed any of them . . .)

I've noticed. That they haven't noticed.
Dec. 7th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
My feeling is that the reviewers don't want to spoil anything. Which I appreciated, as it was a nice little surprise, doubly so that it's handled so matter-of-factly.

The book, I hear, is much more explicit about Eli's backstory (and also Håkan's). The movie (both were written by the same guy) is much more oblique, to its benefit, I think.

I'm also amused that, as more people see the film, the swimming-pool scene has won the same hushed reverence of infamy as the raft scene in The Burning. 'OMFG the swimming-pool scene' and suchlike.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 7th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)

You need this, I think.

Dec. 7th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting the trailer originally, which convinced me to see the movie, and posting it again to remind me how beautiful the movie is. It's definitely one of the best movies I've seen this year, and the best horror film I've seen in many a year.

Subtlety is what does it in horror for me, and this films definitely whispers, and that's part of the beauty of it. Thanks again.
Dec. 7th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
It's still snowing now.

I first read that as "It's still snowing snow." Sounded like something I'd've written. (I once heard a fellow Oregonian joke during a snowfall, "That's not snow, a meth lab exploded." So it may not always be snow...)

There is, rather, a comforting lack of distinction between earth and sky.

That's easy to picture. I've seen that, especially back in Northern Virginia. And it's comforting. The opposite of comforting was the time my family picked up my dad at his ship at the Norfolk (Va.) Naval Station, with a big storm coming in from the Atlantic. I knew it was going to be big when I looked at a rock wall in the bay, blocking my view of the horizon, and saw that the water near me and the sky above me were the same color. We drove straight westward (instead of the freeway, which runs northwest) to stay ahead of that storm a little longer.

I'm glad you have the comforting version of "a lack of distinction between earth and sky."

Now I want to make it to Let the Right One In, by the way. And I have a chance...
Dec. 7th, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC)
We'll be seeing Let the Right One In when it hits Tampa Theatre on January 2nd. Tonight we're going to see Repo! The Genetic Opera. Finally.

Dec. 7th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)

Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Lucky you.
Dec. 8th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
Just got back. It was everything I expected, really. Even Paris Hilton was quite good (and got the best special effect in the movie).

I'd be interested to see the original stage show. I'm curious about how they would set some of the scenes up.

Also got to see the Let the Right One In trailer on a big screen. I'm so looking forward to that.
( 12 comments — Have your say! )


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